Add your ABN to Facebook to avoid GST charges

An update to Facebook’s billing will affect how much you are charged for ads. Due to a recent Australian tax law change in relation to the supply of advertising (eServices), Facebook is now registered for GST in Australia.

If you do not provide a valid ABN you will be charged an additional 10% GST for advertising services after July 1, 2018.

To learn more about this change and for instructions on how to provide your ABN click here.

If you’d like help adding your ABN, contact us on 1300 1400 56 or using the form below.

 

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facebook newsfeed update 2018

Big changes are coming to the Facebook newsfeed – Here’s what they mean for small businesses

The Facebook algorithm decides what people see when they scroll through their newsfeeds.

It’s also about to get a big makeover.

Why should businesses take note?

Because people are going to start seeing less public content from businesses in their newsfeeds. When businesses publish an unpaid post, it could get less attention than similar posts in the past.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that the new algorithm will favour content from ‘friends, family, and groups.’

 

How do businesses get the most out of the new algorithm?

Zuckerberg has given businesses a handy hint about getting their unpaid posts to appear in people’s newsfeeds. According to Zuckerberg, ‘the public content you see … should encourage meaningful interactions between people.’

These ‘meaningful interactions’ will be the key to helping the new algorithm to value posts by a business. Savvy businesses will post content that helps people to connect with each other. The name of the game is good quality content that encourages people to comment and share.

 

How is this different to the old algorithm?

The old algorithm used a few different signals to decide where to rank content on people’s newsfeeds. A lot of the biggest influencing factors were passive interactions like clicks and views.

With the new algorithm, ‘active’ interactions such as comments and shares will be much more important for getting the new algorithm’s attention. Get people to talk amongst themselves in the comment section of a post, and that post will be much more likely to appear in people’s newsfeeds.

But what kind of posts encourage ‘active interactions? A safe bet is content that people care about. When you tell meaningful stories, they spark meaningful conversations.

Instead of posting viral-style content that grabs people’s attention (here’s looking at you, click-bait), businesses should focus on posting content that people want to talk about, instead of just passively consume.

 

What to avoid

A final word to the wise: businesses should avoid ‘Tag baiting’ (posts with captions like ‘Tag someone who does this’) and ‘comment baiting’ (posts with captions like ‘Comment “Yes” if you agree’).

The new algorithm will be smart enough to distinguish between these kinds of passive comments, and the active, meaningful comments that it actually cares about.

 

Why we shouldn’t be scared of the new algorithm

The new algorithm is going to be different, but it’s also a chance for businesses to up their marketing game and post content that helps people connect in a more meaningful way. And that’s a really exciting prospect for businesses to grow a community instead of just an audience.

While the new algorithm poses some challenges, in the end it will encourage businesses to create content that will be more engaging, more memorable and more likely to build strong, trusting relationships with their potential customers.

search advertising

Beyond Adwords: The new forces in target marketing

Google Adwords celebrates its 15th birthday this year, so by now most small businesses are fairly aware of advertising on the search engine giant.

When we mention Adwords, most people immediately think of the ads you see next to or above Google search results – called Search Advertising, but this is only a part of what Adwords can offer.

The problem we often face when we speak to businesses about their online marketing is that they can tend to focus all their online advertising efforts into Search Advertising because they’re already aware of it, and ignore other great opportunities.

In this article, we’re going to introduce you to two other advertising methods – Adwords Display Network and Facebook Advertising. We’ll clear up a few things about how each method works and where your ads are placed, then we’ll explain what this difference actually means to your business.

If you think you’re all over the difference between the three advertising methods then you can just skip to Part B – but it can’t hurt to get a refresher!

 

Part A: The technical bits explained

 

Adword Search Advertising

With search advertising, your ads are placed next to or above relevant Google search results. The ads are text only and can include extensions such as a phone number, URL, location, or social link.

Digital Agency Web Intelligenz

In search there are four main ways you can target your ads to a specific audience:

Keyword targeting: Choose words or phrases relevant to your product or service so your ads appear when customers use those terms when searching on Google or search partner sites.

Location and language targeting: Choose the language as well as the country, region or city where your customers are located.

Device targeting: Show your ads across all devices, such as desktop, mobile and tablet or only on iPhones and Android devices. This is particularly relevant if your product or service is related specifically to one device eg. an iPhone app.

Audience targeting: Show your ads to people who have previously visited your site by using remarketing.
 

Adwords Display Advertising

In comparison, Adwords display advertising places your ads across the Google Display Network – a variety of news sites, blogs and other niche sites.
The most important difference between search and display advertising is that the Display Network allows you to create all types of ads – you can use text, image, interactive or video ads. This is extremely important if you have a very visual product.

Display ads
Display advertising is also different in they ways you can target your ads to a specific audience:

Contextual targeting: Target people based on the type of content they consume when they’re consuming it.

Keyword targeting: Again, choosing words or phrases relevant to your product or service so that your ads appear when customers use those terms to search on Google or search partner sites.

Interest Categories: Target people whose online behaviours show they share a common interest, like sports or travel.

Topic targeting: Similar to Interest Categories, except your ads are only shown on sites related to the topic that you pick.

Location and language targeting: Display advertising also allows you to choose the language and geographic locations your ad is placed in.

Placement targeting: Place your ads on websites in the Display Network that your customers visit. You can choose a whole site or just the specific pages within a site.

Audience targeting: Audience targeting for Display is a little more complex. Again you can show your ads to people who have visited your site before through remarketing. However you can also target to an audience based on their age, gender or parental status. You can also show your ads to affinity audiences or in-market audiences. Affinity audiences are people who have demonstrated a qualified interest in a particular topic whereas in-market audiences are those who are actively researching or comparing products and services across Google Display Network publishers, partner sites and YouTube. Learn more about these audience types here and here.

Device targeting: Again you can choose the specific devices where your ad is placed

Both search and display advertising use an auction based cost-per click (CPC) or cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) billing method. Learn more about how the CPC/CPM auction works by watch this video.

 

Facebook Advertising

Most of you would have noticed advertised “suggested” posts creeping into your newsfeeds or in the right-hand column. With Facebook you can either build an ad from scratch or simply “boost” one of your posts. You can use text, image, video and gifs.

Digital Agency Web Intelligenz

Like Adwords, Facebook Advertising also has very powerful targeting tools. Here’s some of the many ways you can target your audience:

  • Interest categories
  • People who like specific Facebook pages
  • People who like your page
  • Friends of people who like your page
  • People on your existing email database
  • People who are similar to people on your existing email database
  • Those who have already visited your website, or specific pages on your website (remarketing)
  • Geographic location – down to a one mile radius
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Education – Fields of study, schools and undergraduate years
  • Ethnic affinity
  • Financial – Income and net worth
  • Generation – Baby boomers, Generation X or Millenials
  • Home – ownership, type, value and household composition
  • Life events – People or friends or people with certain life events including an anniversary within 30 Days, new job, new relationship, newly engaged (1 year, 3 or 6 months), newlywed (1 year, 3 or 6 months), recently moved, away from family and away from hometown
  • Parents – expecting parents, new parents or parents with toddlers, preschoolers, early school age, preteens, teenagers or adult children
  • Politics – conservative or liberal
  • Relationship status
  • Work – Employer, industry and job titles
  • Expats
  • Device
  • Network connection
  • Attending various events
  • Travellers –currently, frequently or business travellers, commuters and people who have just return from a trip.
  • Small business owners
  • Technology early- or late-adopters

Similar to Adwords, Facebook Advertising uses a CPC or CPM billing method. Learn more about it by watching this video.
 

Part B: What does all this mean for your business?

 
So now that you’re up to speed on the technical aspects of the various advertising methods, what are the differences in a business sense?
 

When you should (and shouldn’t) use Search Advertising

Search Advertising, on average, has higher conversion rates than Display Advertising. However, this doesn’t mean that it will necessarily work for your business.

There are two things worthy of noting about Search Advertising. Firstly your ads are only displayed when someone is actively searching for your product or service. Now, this is not a problem if you have a highly sought-after product or service. For example, accounting – whether it’s for a business or an individual most Australians will need to seek out an accountant at some point in their lives. But what if you have a great product that people would love to purchase, but it’s not very well known so it’s not being actively searched for by customers.

We have a client in the travel industry who offers a very unique guided tour experience and was suffering from this very issue. This caused them to broaden their keywords from highly specific keywords related to their product to generic keyword phrases such as ‘Gifts for Couples’ or ‘Tours in Melbourne’. This broadening of keywords often leads to a lower click-through rate and a lower conversion rate.

The second thing to take into account is that search ads are text only. This can hinder your campaign if you have a very visual product. Similarly, if you have an unusual product such as the unique guided tour this client offered, people may click on your ad (a click which you pay for) just to figure out what your product is, not because they’re genuinely interested in purchasing it.

At this point many small businesses start to think that maybe this online advertising thing just isn’t for them.
 

What Display Advertising offers that Search doesn’t

The most powerful thing about display advertising is that it’s great for finding and showing your ads to people who AREN’T looking for you but may be interested in your product.

The display network is particularly great if you have a visual product. In the case of our tour guide client, it cuts out that issue of people only clicking on the ad to figure out what the product actually is, without the intention of purchasing it.
 

Why should you use Facebook Advertising?

Like Display Advertising, Facebook allows you to place your ads in front of people who just don’t know they want your product yet. You’re also able to use text, images, gifs and videos so it’s perfect for visual products.

Similar to email marketing, it’s great for nurturing leads and keeping in touch with your current and past clients as well as establishing yourself as the go-to expert in a subject.

The real power of Facebook Advertising lies in its audience targeting. Ad relevancy is key to a high click-through rate. Facebook’s audience targeting allows you to tailor your message to a highly specific audience.

For example, if you were a mortgage broker, instead of offering a home loan guide for buyers, you can offer a home loan guide for lawyers and target an ad specifically to lawyers. With both Adwords advertising methods, you are unable to target people who work specific jobs and it’s also unlikely that people would be searching home loans for lawyers specifically.

Facebook allows you to connect to the right people, everywhere they go.
 

Where are your competitors?

The three advertising methods also differ in how you interact with your competitors. In search advertising, where your ad is placed is almost entirely based on the searched keyword, and while your ad may appear first or second, you also have 10+ other listings all offering the same specific product or service. In this instance your potential lead has the pick of the batch.

It’s the equivalent of standing in a room full of your competitors (some who have paid to be there and some who have got in for free) and all of you pitching to this one lead only using words. At this point, it’s starting to seem less likely that they’ll click on your ad.

However, with Display and Facebook Advertising, consumer targeting is based on a number of different factors, so it’s much less likely that your ads will be placed beside that of a direct competitor. Whilst you’ll still be competing for your potential lead’s attention, with the average person consuming 285 pieces of content daily, you’re not competing with someone who’s selling the same product as you.

This is great because many people don’t spend time researching their purchases, instead choosing either the first one they see that they like or the one most familiar to them.

So in the case of Display and Facebook advertising, it’s like standing in a room with other people, where only a few of them are trying to sell various products to your potential lead, but you also get to use a visual and audio presentation in order to make the sale.
 

Where to from here?

We’ve been a bit down on search advertising in this article, but we’re by no means saying you shouldn’t use it; the truth is this is a very powerful and effective online advertising tool. We wanted you to get acquainted with other tools so you can get the most out of your online advertising campaigns.

It’s not a case of one or the other; we usually suggest that our clients try out different advertising tools to see which ones fit – you might end up using all three. So take some time to think about which advertising method suits your product or service. We would love to hear how you go!

blog writing

Get inspired to write your business’ blog!

We all get writer’s block

Blogs are a great marketing tool for many reasons. They drive traffic to your website, inform and engage your customers, nurture leads, and keep your website’s content “fresh” which is great for SEO.

But for the time-poor, cash-strapped small business owner, actually getting a regular blog schedule together is something of a logistical nightmare. So often we hear that when small business owners and managers eventually find the time to sit down and write a blog post, they have no idea of what to write about. So they stare at their blank screen, eke out a few words, get frustrated and give up on blogging as a feasible marketing strategy.

Now, if we sat down and asked these small business owners about their products, services or industry, they could easily talk for hours on the subject. And they do just that during the expert “brain drain” sessions we hold before creating a content strategy as part of a business’s social media management.

So the problem isn’t that they don’t know their stuff, or don’t know how to explain it, they just need a little inspiration for their writer’s block. And we get it! As content writers we’ve had this problem time and time again. So that’s why at Web Intelligenz, we use the Little Blog Book.

The Little Blog Book

The Little Blog Book is more of a mindset than a physical book. It involves always keeping your blog at the back of your mind during your day-to-day interactions with client and prospects. Because client question are the perfect inspiration for blog posts. If one client has that question, chances are many of your other clients do too.

So every time a client asks you a question, and every time you find some new way to describe a confusing concept, write it down in your Little Blog Book! The Little Blog Book can be a real book you keep in your pocket, or the notes app on your phone, as long as it’s always handy when an idea strikes.

I often think of ideas for future blog posts while I’m writing the current one – future posts that could expand on topics I’ve touched on but don’t want to go into too much depth for clarity’s sake.

Using the Little Blog Book means that when you do find a moment in your busy schedule to sit down and write a blog, you already have some ideas for what topics your readers would find interesting or informative and some novel ways of explaining them.

SEO Tips Mobile Friendly

SEO Tips: Mobile-Friendly Websites Rank Better In Mobile Search

Mobile is the new desktop. Well, sort of.

More and more people are using their mobiles to view websites. Having a mobile-friendly website gives a better user experience, which is important for converting prospects on your website.

But perhaps more importantly, Google prefers mobile-friendly websites and will rank them higher in mobile search results. Here’s what you need to know about Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm:

The algorithm assesses on a page-by-page basis

The algorithm analyses mobile compatibility on a page-by-page basis, rather than a website-wide basis. If your site has some pages that are optimized for mobile and some that are not, Google will assess them separately and promote the pages that are optimized.

There are over 200 different factors that determine ranking including: small font sizes, whether your buttons are too close together, readability of content and whether the browser adjusts the page dimensions to suit the device accessing the website.

Your page is either mobile-friendly or not

The algorithm is an on-or-off algorithm, this means that it does not assess how mobile-friendly your pages are, you cannot be 50% or 70% mobile-friendly, you are either mobile-friendly or you are not.

The algorithm operates in real-time

The algorithm runs in real-time, this means that as soon as your site becomes mobile-friendly, Google will pick up on the change, and you should start to benefit from the new algorithm fairly quickly.

How do you know if your website is mobile-friendly?

You can assess whether your site is mobile friendly by using Google’s mobile friendly test. This test is not without its flaws, but is a useful gauge of a site’s mobile performance.

Mobile Friendly Test

Also, the mobile usability reports in Google Webmasters Tools will show you common usability issues with your mobile site.

If 73% of Australians using their mobile phones to access the Internet wasn’t incentive enough to go mobile-friendly, this algorithm makes the change a necessity.

So if your site is not mobile-friendly, you better get to work now, because your mobile traffic is at risk.

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Google keywords SEO Tips

SEO Tips: Are you ranking for the right Google keywords?

One of the first things our clients say when we broach the topic of Google Search is: “I’m ranking on the first page for [insert keyword here]”. The keyword, or keyword phrase, is usually a fairly specific description of the service or product our client provides – for example, a keyword phrase for us could be “website analytics Melbourne”.

Now you might think, “job done” right? They’re ranking highly for the perfect keyword phrase to describe their business. We can pack up and move on to something else…

Well, the story is not quite over yet.

Check your Google keywords properly

Now, the first question we ask our clients is: did they check their ranking using their own browser? Whenever you visit a website, it’s saved in your browser history. Google uses this to tailor your search results. Most likely you visit your own website fairly regularly, and because of this, Google will think your website is relevant to you and will bump it up in the rankings.

So how do you check your ranking properly? Chrome Incognito or Firefox Private don’t save the sites you’ve visited, so they’re much better ways to check your ranking.

And the second, most important question: is anyone actually searching using the Google keywords you rank well for? Is anyone actually typing in “website analytics Melbourne”?

You may be ranking well for a certain keyword but perhaps only 10 people are searching using that keyword each month. That limits your organic reach to 10 potential customers.

So how do we find out what people are actually searching? We use the Google Keywords Planner

keyword planner 1

How many people are searching Google using your keyword?

Type in your keywords and click the blue button. You can also target to specific locations, search engines and exclude negative keywords. We’ve chosen to look at searches in Victoria, Australia.

keyword planner 2

This table shows each keyword phrase and their corresponding average monthly searches. We can see that “website design Melbourne” is searched on average 1,000 times each month, but “website analytics Melbourne” isn’t getting any searches at all.

We would be much better off focusing our SEO efforts on ranking well in “website design Melbourne” where the pool of potential customers is much greater.

So you may be ahead of the pack, but are you running the right race? Wouldn’t you rather be winning races with a $1,000 prize than a $10 one? I know which one I’d choose.

What are your ideal Google keywords?

Want to find out your business’s ideal paid and organic google keywords and how to rank well for them? Check out our SEO and Social Media Landscape Analysis!

 

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SEO Tips Web Intelligenz

SEO Tips: What does your website look like to Google?

So you think your website looks great, but you’re not ranking well in Google, why is that? To understand this, you need to dig a little deeper than what initially meets the eye.

You and Google have very different ways of judging your website, so let’s take a moment to change perspectives from what you see, to what Google sees.

For a typical search query, there are thousands, even millions, of webpages with potentially helpful information. However, most people don’t look beyond the first results page. In order to give you the most relevant results first, Google uses a special algorithm.

Today, Google’s algorithm uses more than 200 unique signals in order to take your questions and turn them into answers. Google doesn’t release exactly what these signals are, but they include things like the terms used on your website, the freshness of the content and your region.

These word clouds are certainly an oversimplification of such a complex algorithm, but they do give you a bit of an idea of what your website looks like to Google. They represent how Google interprets the content of your website.

Word map comparison no title

Both word clouds were created from the real websites of two different dental clinics. The bigger the word, the more frequently this word appears on the website, and the more frequently Google’s algorithm detects it.

The first cloud you could probably guess straight away is a dentist in Melbourne, as it is full of relevant words such as ‘dental’, ‘dentistry’ and ‘Melbourne’. From just a quick glance you can get a good idea of the services they offer.

However, the second word cloud is full of mostly website code, making it far more difficult for Google to gauge the search queries to which your website is relevant.

Your website is the core of your online marketing machine, your content and coding is important, make sure get that right before you invest in your marketing strategies.

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