Review your call to action!


Review your call to action!

There are two major components to making your website sucessful.
One is getting people from your target market to you site.
The second is getting some form of conversion.


Your aim for conversion might be contact queries, bookings, sales, product enquiries.


The task this week is putting yourself in your customers shoes -


1 Pretend to be a customer and browse to your website home page.


2 Assess how clearly and quickly you can tell what services and products are on offer.


3 Assess how clear the call to action is. Is there clear instruction on what to do next? Examples might be – “Contact Us” “Enquire Here” “Order Online” “Buy Online”


4 Using the admin online editor, edit your text to clearly state your product/service, and give your customers a clear instruction on what to do next.

4b Or change your main heading or sub headings to better state what you do. People are far more likely to read a heading than anything else!





What are the options for receiving money online?


What are the options for receiving money online?

There are a daunting number of options for New Zealand retailers wanting to accept real time credit card transactions online.


To receive credit card payments you need some kind of payment gateway. Put simply a gateway is an organisation that accepts the credit card payment on your behalf and performs real time checking of the number name etc all online while the client is purchasing from you. Just as if they were in a shop using the eft-pos machine.


Here are brief descriptions of some of the options.


1 Paypal is the biggest international internet payment gateway. Paypal itself has a huge array of payment products ranging from requesting money from people by email, to buy now buttons and shopping carts operating directly from your website. Because of its size Paypal has reasonably good feee structures. With Paypal your money sits in your account with them, and you periodically download your earnings into a bank account of your specification. A separate Merchant Account (and the associated fees) with a traditional bank is not required for most options.


2 DPS is a New Zealand home grown payment gateway. Again there are a huge arrary of services. Payment Express is a Visa and MasterCard certified solution, developed by DPS, which allows electronic payments from multiple access points i.e. Web, EFTPOS, Vending, MOTO (Mail Order / Telephone Order) and Wireless.


3 Banks. Many of the New Zealand banks offer payment gateway services that can be custom integrated into your website along with their Merchant Account services. These systems are often the most expensive and have custom options when actually implementing into your website.



Phone, camera, mp3 player, TomTom GPS, flip video camera, ebook reader – running out of pockets?


Phone, camera, mp3 player, TomTom GPS, flip video camera, ebook reader - running out of pockets?
Combining one or more tech gadgets into just one is called convergence.
Consciously or subconsciously these are decisions we make everytime we buy a new tech toy or communications device.


For instance, cell phones used to be for making phone calls. However with a modern smart phone, you can do a huge range of things.
Just off the top of my head -


  1. write with text messaging
  2. take photos and videos
  3. immediately upload photos and video to the internet e.g. Flickr, facebook, YouTube.
  4. send emails
  5. read documents, e.g. Word, Excel, PDFs.
  6. play video games
  7. update content online through blogs, social networking sites, content management systems
  8. manage your life through calendars for home and work, updated over the internet
  9. find your way with turn by turn navigation and mapping applications
  10. download and read books
  11. and guess what – you can even make phone calls!


This list is by no means exhaustive. But it poses the questions – how many devices do we need? Which ones could be combined? Which ones should be combined?


This last question is probably the most important. Manufacturers won’t admit it, but when we combine two pieces of equipment, due to cost or physical space, typically one suffers. So we are faced with balancing the specifications and convenience of the new hybrid.


The choices and compromises are personal, but one thing is sure, technology producers will continue to dazzle and amaze us with the next shiney must have item!



Ask for links to your website!


Ask for links to your website!

Links TO your website are highly effective in improving your standing with Google.


However quality beats out quantity.
Suppliers and Clients with websites can be a really good source of relevant links related to your product or service.
And Google can tell the difference.


Here are some ideas for getting links to your website -


1 Blog comments – If you comment on blogs related to your business, try to include your website address (often the blog may ask for your ‘website’). Then the comment that you made will give you one backlink (provided that you entered your URL in the “Website” field).


2 Forum Signature Links – At first, links from forum signatures won’t do much because of the small number of your posts, but when you manage to get a lot of posts, they will serve their purpose. Remember not to spam just to get lots of posts! Search engines are all about new and unique content (so don’t spam forums!)


3 Link Exchange – Just another well-known method to get links… be sure to get links from related sites so that the value of the links are higher. Also consider if you abuse this method, Google is really smart and will figure it out, dropping your ranking.


4 Article Submissions – Create high-quality articles then submit them to article directories. Put your link below the article, and you’ll receive a backlink for every article published.


5 Link Baiting – Build good content that will spread fast, and most likely people will link to your site. Make use of your creativity and make your link bait now.


6 Social Bookmarking -Social bookmarking can help in driving traffic to your site and in giving you backlinks.


7 Sponsor local events and charities – ask for a link on their sponsors page!


8 Strike a deal with a local college or university alumni association to offer them discounts on your services – and of course ask to be listed on their alumni site. This could just get you a .edu link (worth a lot to Google!), not to mention extra business.