The Smarter Marketing Blog

Latest Posts

  • How to Write Effective About Pages

    -Why Everyone Misses the Point

    About
    Who is your About page really for?

    Almost everybody makes the same basic mistake when writing About pages, bios or social media profiles: - It’s Not About You.

    Most of us get a little weird and awkward when we have to write about ourselves. This guide shows you how to create business winning About pages.

    Learn more... read more...
    Jan 06, 2014
  • How To Talk About Yourself Successfully

    Tips to Successfully Promote Yourself

    mimi
    Don't be like Mimi, it's all about them, not you.

    After ranting about the abundance of ‘We we” in a lot of marketing copywriting recently, this week I’ll provide some practical tips on how to write about yourself without spoiling your pants.

    This post will show how to avoid “We we” and its confederates Aye aye, Mimi, Hehe and Chi chi (“I, I,” “Me me,” “He he,” and “She she,”) as well as the dreaded third person affectation.

    As I said in the previous post when you start talking about how good you are in your copywriting, your customer’s eyes start to toll and their belly begins to churn.

    Learn what to Do.

    read more...
    Dec 17, 2013
  • Rich Data for Content Marketing and Social Media

    jigsaw man
    How to pull all the pieces of your content together

    A quick run-down on how to use rich data for greater content marketing and social media success.

    There’s been an awful lot of talk this year about data – big data, rich data, structured data, semantic data, open graph data, etc etc.

    But what does it all mean for you?

    If the talk of all this data is starting to make your head spin, just wait until you try to put it altogether.

    Learn more... read more...
    Dec 10, 2013
  • Why Being the Best is Really Bad for Your Business

    Avoid this Horror Marketing Mistake

    throw up girl
    Is your marketing making your customers throw-up?.

    One of the quickest ways to make your prospective customers throw up and leave you is to say you are: “Australia’s leading expert in...”

    Whether you’re in real estate, marketing, training, social media or whatever it doesn’t matter:

    Make the above statement and you instantly lose all credibility with your potential buyer.

    As any good salesperson or marketer will tell you, establishing credibility is the key to making a deal. Lose it and you have to work incredibly hard to get it back.

    How to avoid marketing vomit ... read more...
    Dec 03, 2013
  • 80% of all Sales Influenced by Online

    scary money
    The money being lost by Australian business online is truly scary.

    One of the dangerous myths or excuses about online business is that it only accounts for less than 10% of all sales so it’s not yet a priority for many business owners and marketers.

    That’s a dangerous and naive stance for any business person to take, but it seems particularly prevalent among Australian businesses.

    The real amount of money they are losing is very scary.

    Recent research from Liveperson shows nearly 80% of all sales are influenced by people researching online.

    Learn how scary it really is... read more...
    Aug 02, 2013
  • Business Owners Don’t Trust Web Developers

    Mexican standooff
    Local business owners are none to happy with web developers and online guru's.

    Not only don’t they trust them; they think we’re all a bunch of rip off merchants. Ouch! (Oh by the way that includes us online marketers too. Double ouch.)

    Over the past few months I’ve been assisting one of my peers, Richard Keeves, from Smarter Web Strategies, with a program to help get Australian businesses, especially retailers online - http://digitalroadmaps.org/

    This pilot program was run in Perth, Western Australia with the assistance of the Chamber of Commerce, the State Government and other industry bodies.

    Digital Roadmaps

    One of the things that became clear at the outset and was reiterated constantly thru the program was how p!$$ed off most retailers are with web developers and online marketers.

    Learn why... read more...
    Jul 16, 2013
  • Old Dog Retailer Learns Spectacular New Online Tricks

    How a 150 year old British retailer is showing everyone how ecommerce should be done.

    John Lewis websiteUntil recently I’d never heard of British retailer John Lewis, but its name keeps coming up in the online press about how to do things well online. EG: How to make a good profit.

    That a traditional, bricks and mortar high street retailer founded in 1864 is succeeding brilliantly online speaks volumes about all the other offline retailers who keep lamenting about the effects of online competition.

    The John Lewis story provides a text book example for what Australian retailers need to learn about doing business both online and offline.

    Learn what they do differently... read more...
    Jun 05, 2013
  • How Much Does a Website Cost – Part 2

    What they don’t tell you

    burning money
    Do you feel like your burning money online?

    There are many unexpected costs involved when creating a website or new online business, many of which come as a shock to business owners.

    Often it can feel as if you are burning money for no result.

    As my friend Richard Keeves at Smarter Web Strategies keeps saying:

    "When it comes to online business, many business owners simply don’t know what they don’t know."

    And the things they don’t know, often come with a huge financial shock attached to them.

    What they don't tell you...

    read more...
    May 30, 2013
  • How Much Does a Website Cost?

    Misguided marketing The perennial question, and usually met with the frustrating response: “It depends...”

    So in this post I will give you some hard figures about what you can pay or not pay to get your business online.

    Firstly, you can get great websites for free or you can do what Australian retailer David Jones has done and spend $160 million with IBM to get your website up.

    And while the new DJ’s website is impressive, I know there are some smart developers out there who could have got the same result for a fraction of the price.

    So where does that leave the average business when it comes to building or upgrading their web presence?

    What are your cost options?...

    read more...
    May 20, 2013
  • Remarkable Research on What Really Works in Online Marketing

    money tap
    What's really stopping your results from flowing?

    Adobe has just released a report that shows very clearly what works in online marketing. Rather tellingly, 86% of online marketers aren’t doing it.

    The Adobe 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey presents compelling evidence of what marketers and online businesses need to do in order to succeed.

    Incredibly, and rather damningly it also reveals that most of them aren’t doing what’s needed and have no plans to do so.

    Learn more... read more...
    May 09, 2013
  • Why Conversion Rate Optimisation Doesn’t Work

    knotted tap
    Is poor strategy and faulty equipment hindering your conversion rates?

    Conversion rate optimisation won’t work for most online businesses; at least not straight away and there’s a very obvious reason for that.

    You’ve left it too late.

    There’s an old saying in horticulture: The best time to plant a fruit tree was 10 years ago, the second best time is right now.

    And so it is with conversion rate optimisation. The sites that are doing it really well have been doing it for a very long time.

    Consider a site like Amazon, started in the early 1990’s and has been testing and optimising ever since. All through the nineties, into the noughties and now we’re well into the noughty teens.

    That’s actually three consecutive decades of online testing and optimisation improvement (and some of you thought online business was a relatively new phenomena.)

    Time to catch up... read more...
    Apr 23, 2013
  • Speed Traps – Remove the Social Buttons and Improve Conversions

    Slow blue car
    Are all your social media buttons stalling your site performance?

    Social media sharing buttons are one of the biggest drags on any website’s performance, so removing them altogether may significantly increase your business.

    Many sensible online marketers know that speed (fast loading web pages) has a direct correlation to conversion rates and revenue. Even Google penalizes slow loading sites in the search rankings.

    Yet whenever you start looking at what’s slowing down your site, inevitably it’s all those third party plugins and scripts, especially the social media sharing scripts that are the biggest offenders.

    So should you just do away with them altogether?

    For the answer, read on...

    read more...
    Apr 12, 2013
  • How Much Does Blogging Cost?

    pay to play
    Are you prepared to pay for blogging success?

    - $20k a Month

    Seriously? Neil Patel who writes a great blog at QuickSprout recently listed how much it costs him to blog every month and be successful.

    (And I thoroughly recommend you subscribe to Neil's blog, he writes a lot of very informative how to articles.)

    At over $20,000 a month Neil's costs might cause most of us to gulp an say: ”Get outta here.” but when looking at Neil's figures they are pretty conservative.

    Which begs the question: How much is your business, any business, prepared to spend on its blogging strategy to make it actually work, as in generate leads and business?

    How much does it really cost?...

    read more...
    Apr 05, 2013
  • Titles Can Kill or Convert – What are Yours Doing?

    - How to Write Accessible Web Content Part 4

    Title crimes
    Are your titles leaving clues or corpses?

    Titles, headlines and headings cause more confusion and consternation for online writers, designers and developers than perhaps anything else.

    Get them right, and you'll get more traffic, reader engagement and conversions; get them wrong and you'll get nothing.

    Titles are important for many reasons, which we'll cover in this post.

    But first let's make one thing clear: Titles are not headlines or headings. They may be the same, but they are two different parts of any online document.

    I'll discuss headings and headlines in the next post, but for now you need to understand that Titles are their own dog.

    Learn how to avoid title crimes... read more...
    Mar 21, 2013
  • Dinosaurs, Structured Data and the NBN – Are You Ready?

    - Are You Ready or Already Endangered?

    dinosaur
    Digitally aware or a blissfully ignorant dinosaur?

    While there's been a lot of talk recently about big data, structured data and the NBN, how many businesses really know what it means for them, or are even ready for it?

    As I discussed in a previous post, Jim Wyatt, General Manager, Digital Economy, Department of Commerce, and Government of Western Australia.gave an eye opening presentation at the Spacecubed Morning Startup event in Perth recently to some of the smartest digital minds in the city.

    And even they were surprised at just how paradigm shifting the NBN will be for business.

    In particular more and more businesses are going to become publishers and broadcasters of their own content, streaming it directly into their customers' homes and pockets via a range of devices.

    Don't be a dinosaur...

    read more...
    Mar 18, 2013
  • NBN Will Bypass the Web

    nbn dirt buggy
    The NBN could leave us all in the dust

    Australia's National Broadband Network is much more than a glorified internet connection, a fact not understood by most people including business.

    This was one of the many highlights from a fascinating presentation given by Jim Wyatt, General Manager, Digital Economy, Department of Commerce, and Government of Western Australia.

    The presentation was at the Spacecubed Morning Startup event in Perth yesterday morning.

    Jim covered a lot of ground but the thing that struck me was how the NBN may completely bypass the web.

    As Jim put it, the NBN will allow businesses and organisations to push their services directly into people's homes in ways we can't even imagine yet.

    Learn how to avoid becoming NBN roadkill... read more...
    Mar 13, 2013
  • How Friendly URLS and Custom File Names Affect Conversion Rates

    How to Write Accessible Content - Part 3

    spiral staircase-small
    Help users find your content with friendly structure

    Search engine friendly urls and folder names are often overlooked when building and maintaining a website, yet they are important for many reasons.

    Apart from some organic search engine benefits they also help with accessibility, usability, social media sharing, marketing and conversion rates.

    Otherwise known as FURLs (friendly URLs) or "pretty links", they simply mean that what's in your web page address (URL) can be understood by human beings.

    Learn how to write better names... read more...
    Mar 12, 2013
  • Testing Traps – How to Get the Most from Your Testing

    - 9 Tips for Better Business Decisions

    Do you really know how to test online?Too many bad decisions are being made as the result of testing.

    The proliferation of online testing tools have made it easy for anyone to test different elements of their websites and marketing campaigns.

    However that doesn't mean most of them know what they are doing.

    As a result plenty of bad decisions are being made that are costing businesses lost revenue and leads.

    While tools like Google Experiments, Optimizely, Monetate and many others bring testing to the masses, in the hands of amateurs these tools can be downright dangerous.

    Here are nine tips and tricks to make you a better tester: read more...
    Mar 07, 2013
  • Black vs White Type

    black vs white text

    White type on a black background is 10 times harder to read than the usual black type on white.

    Recently this issue of reverse type reared its head in a presentation I was doing for Perth online business owners at Smarter Digital Roadmaps for Retailers.

    Some were unaware of the concept and its consequences and quizzed me further on it, so here are some more facts, tests and links to demonstrate the difference.

    Learn why black is best here...

    read more...
    Feb 28, 2013
  • How to Increase Sales Online

    - Get more bookings, signups, registrations etc

    speed vs abandonment rateShopatron recently released an infographic that perfectly highlights the four key areas that all online business owners should be concentrating on to increase sales.

    It encapsulates what I and many conversion rate optimisation consultants have been saying for years:

    • Be Fast
    • Be Simple
    • Be Friendly
    • And Be Trustworthy

    Learn more on how to increase your online results here...

    read more...
    Feb 19, 2013
  • LinkedIn Deletes Your Profile Site Links

    Check Your Profile Now!

    linkedin breaks linksLinkedin has deleted many members’ website and blog links from their contact info profiles.

    On the weekend I was tweaking my profile when alarmingly I noticed all of my site links were gone. 

    This has only happened recently and is not a result of the new interface design that happened last year.

    Has it happened to you? Find out more...

    read more...
    Feb 18, 2013
  • How to Increase Form Completion

    Number of online form fields

    If you really want to get more leads, newsletter signups, bookings etc from your online forms, then here’s a baker’s dozen of tips to increase your results.

    Some of the old school marketers among you will have a hard time accepting the recommendations, but if you want more leads then read on.

    read more...
    Feb 15, 2013
  • Why Small Text Size Will Lose You Business

    Conversion Optimisation Tip 8

    dog reading newspaperThe average text size on most websites is costing site owners money because it’s too small and hard to read.

    Text size (font size, type size) is one of the most over looked aspects of increasing results from your online marketing efforts.

    Yet it is obviously one of the easiest changes you can make (if you can live with your web designer’s screams of abuse.)

    Unfortunately, most web text is around 12px or less, which is far too small to be effective.  The text has been made small in order to fit all the other elements onto the page.

    However sacrificing text size for looks is short-sighted.

    Learn why...

    read more...
    Dec 13, 2012
  • How to Write Accessible Content – Part 2

    Choose the Right Platform

    website constructionIf you don’t have the right platform (CMS, Cart, Blog), or have it set up correctly, then any accessibility improvements you want to make will be pointless.

    So choosing the right platform at the start and making sure your IT staff or developers have the knowledge to set it up correctly is critical.

    Get it wrong and you can be in for years of pain.

    These days most modern Content Management Systems (CMS), ecommerce shopping carts and blogging platforms are more than capable of producing accessible, standards compliant content.

    That is most, though not all.

    Even so, sadly in my experience almost all content, ecommerce and blogging installations I’ve come across in the past 15 years have not been correctly set up.

    Usually this is because the IT and development staff simply don’t know what is required, or they simply haven’t been briefed correctly.

    Often they make arbitrary setup decisions that prevent the system from being able to comply with accessibility and standards guidelines.

    Read the checklist...

    read more...
    Dec 12, 2012
  • How to Write Accessible Content –Part 1

    Why You Need to Know How to Write for the Web

    There are three crucial reasons any business and its staff need to know how to write for the web:

    • You can be sued if you do it wrong
    • It will get you more business if you do it right
    • It helps people find you and share your content

    Unfortunately far too many Australian websites fail to meet the basic accessibility and standards compliant requirements.

    Writing for the web is more than just dashing off a quick post and finding an attractive image to go with it.

    Even hiring a professional PR consultant or copy writer to produce your content probably won’t keep you out of trouble.

    Read what you need to know...

    read more...
    Nov 28, 2012
  • How to Speed Up Your Site

    Four Seconds to loadSpeeding up your site is one of the simplest ways to improve your online business and conversion rates.

    Research by Microsoft, Google, Amazon and many others has consistently proved that slow loading web sites and web pages (ie: takes more than two seconds to load) costs billions of dollars in lost revenue. 1 Second Delay Costs $1.68 Billion a Year

    Discover 16 things you can do right now to improve you site performance today.

    read more...
    Nov 27, 2012
  • 1 Second Delay Costs $1.68 Billion a Year

    The cost of web speedSlow site speed kills your online revenue. Latest research shows online retailers are worse than ever at understanding this simple revenue boosting concept.

    Amazon recently calculated that for every second delay in loading its web pages it loses $1.68 billion a year.

    I’ve demonstrated the profound impact site speed has on website revenue over the years but the message just isn’t getting through. (Blink and You’ll Lose a Customer, 55% of Shoppers Abandon Poor Performing Sites)

    Speeding up your website is one of the simplest things a business can do to increase its online revenue.

    It delivers a permanent and perpetual increase in online business.

    Read the full story...

    read more...
    Nov 26, 2012
  • Australian Businesses Face Substantial Digital Disruption

    Digital Disruption ReportOne third of Australian businesses are facing substantial disruption from digital technologies in the immediate future according to Deloitte Australia.

    And all businesses are facing some form of digital disruption.

    In its latest report Digital disruption Short fuse big bang? Deloitte analyses the impact of new digital technologies on Australian business.

    It also looks at which industries are at risk in the short term and long term.

    Find out more...

    read more...
    Oct 24, 2012
  • For Business That Still Doesn’t Get the Web

    How the internet has changed since 2002.

    The infographic below from Bestedsites shows the remarkable changes of the web over the past decade.

    People Online

    • 2002 - 569 million (9% of the global population)
    • 2012 - 2.27 Billion (33% of the population)

    Time Online (Daily Usage)

    • 2002 - 46 minutes
    • 2012 - 4 Hours

    Number of Websites

    • 2002 - 3 million
    • 2012 - 555 million

    Read more...

    read more...
    Oct 18, 2012
  • Have You Seen Rebel Mouse Yet?

    See all your social life visually

    Rebel Mouse IconIf you haven't come across RebelMouse yet you are in for a treat.

    It can take all of your social activity and display it as a highly engaging visual page of your online life. See mine below, or click here to see the full blown version.

    You can add as many of your social services and websites as you like and it all comes together to give others a great picture of your online activity.

    Rebel Mouse has a host of other features which are best discovered by playing with it. Best of all it's completely free. Just sign in with Twitter, Facebook etc, add a few networks and hey presto you have a very cool looking webpage of yourself.

    See how cool this is...

    read more...
    Oct 13, 2012
  • Smarter Marketing Blog

    Librarian

    Boost your results today

    Practical Tips you can use right now to improve your marketing.

  • Powerful Copywriting

    Coaching for Online Results

    The smart marketer's secret weapon

    These days content is king, and the company that tells the best story wins.

    Don't trust it to just anyone.

  • Response Boosting Content

    Response boosting Content marketing

    Create Remarkable Content

    Set yourself apart from your competitors.

    Establish yourself as a trusted resource and authority for your potential customers.

  • Conversion Rate Optimisation

    Conversion Rate Optimisation

    Maximise Your Results

    Every interaction is a chance for you to win or lose a customer.

    Make sure you shine in those moments.