This digital era demands stronger online privacy

Whether you are a student in college or the CEO of a multimillion dollar empire, it is fair to say that privacy is important to you. We have always been a private species, for the most part, but there has been this steadily increasing shift in the level of privacy we can afford. That shift is thanks to rising technological input and further digitalisation. As time goes on, we are slowly but surely investe more of our time and energy, and put more of our data, into the online stratosphere. While the development of technologies like the Internet is by no means a negative advancement, the fact is that we simply must take accountability for our online privacy in this (relatively new) era.

There are many simple but effective measures that we can make use of to give ourselves more privacy online. We can read this VPN guide to know how VPNs work. We can install online security suites that constantly browse our devices for viruses and potential threats. And we can make it a conscious effort to either limit time online, or at the very least take note when a search bar does not have the (literally) trusty padlock next to it when we visit a new site. Finally, we can share less online. All these small movements on our part might seem miniscule, but every action counts. And in this day and age, we do not have the luxury of deciding if we want to use them, we must if we want to make sure that we are safe when we engage in online activity.

Online privacy has always been important, but it has never been as integral as it is today. We are putting more of our information and data into the online stratosphere every time we open our devices and type in letters. We are so used to this innate sense of ongoing, constant online connection that we do not even realise how much we are investing. Because we are so used to it now, we are unaware or unwilling to care enough to be more conscious of our movements online. Everything from our birthdays, credit card information, passport information, and even our bank details can be traced online, and without adequate protective measures, we leave ourselves vulnerable to cyberattacks and hacking efforts that can be costly in more ways than one.

The reality is that our increased reliance on technology and digitalisation means that we are responsible for ensuring our privacy in as many ways as can. Whether that is through the use of a trusted VPN, limiting the information and time we allow for online activity, or even simply checking web pages for the padlock icon in the search bar to ensure a private connection, it all counts. In a world that is more digitally-enhanced all the time, we can no longer afford only making use of a few key online privacy methods. We must be proactive. The risks are too high. The time for proactive privacy measures was yesterday – but it is better late than never.

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Why it’s crucial to understand SEO for successful marketing

Nothing will kill a business quicker than a lack of sales. To make those sales, you need to get your proposition in front of potential customers. Having lots of sales tends to smooth over problems in other areas and will at least buy you time to overcome those obstacles. To make your digital marketing campaign a success, there are 5 marketing channels that you must pay close attention to.

There is nothing quite as good as having search engines send you wallet in hand customers just looking to buy. The art of getting that traffic flooding your website is search engine optimization, or SEO for short. An effective SEO strategy involves optimising the site’s performance, comprehensive keyword research that considers the user’s search intent, and creating quality content that earns links from high authority sites. It is both a technical and creative endeavour that you could spend years practicing before you ever get good at it. As a business owner just starting out, you are likely too busy to devote the time needed to something that pays out over the longer term. Probably your best strategy is to hire a reputable SEO company that emphasises on ethical “white hat” methods to help improve your site’s search visibility and set it up for long-term success.

Another great way to generate sales in the short term is pay per click advertising. The key to success with this channel is in narrowing the target you are marketing to. Pay close attention to the analytics and start small until you start generating positive returns — you will have something that can be quickly scaled to push your business toward profitability.

To grow your business, you want to build your brand. Having brand recognition will make it much easier to sell to your customers when they are ready to buy from you . An easy and inexpensive way to build that brand recognition is through social media. Which social media channel you choose is best determined by who your customers are and where on social media they tend to congregate.

Content marketing is a great way to introduce your products to potential customers, especially  if your product or service is one that people tend to research before purchasing. Content marketing can be done through websites, blogs, new sites and online magazines. It can end being very inexpensive if you write the articles and then offer them free to publishers to use.

One of the best ways to stay in contact with people who have visited your site is good old fashioned email marketing. It is good to invest in a subscription to an autoresponder service to help you manage your email list. Pay close attention to segmenting your lists and use free offers and discounts to get people to subscribe. Once you have done this it is always comforting to know you have a list that you can contact anytime you want with special offers or new product offerings when you need to boost your sales.

If you pay attention to these 5 channels you will build a business with multiple sources of sales that will allow your business to grow and as well be more resilient to whatever business challenges you may face.

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Digital marketing increasingly popular due to high demand

Regardless of the industry you’re in, most business owners understand the importance of digital marketing. Business owners know that sooner or later, they’re going to have to jump on board then the ever-growing trend. Digital marketing has now become an integral part of how a business engages with their customers. Having a website is no longer enough of an online presence. You need to push your business’s online identity even further, as the online community continues to expand. Of course, that’s not the only reason why digital marketing can help grow and scale your business.

You get to know your customers

If you want your business to succeed, you need to know your customers. While you may have the numbers now, we all know that numbers aren’t enough. As a business, you need to get inside the head of your potential customers in order to better serve them. Tracking customer’s behavior is extremely important when it comes to growing your business.

It saves your business money

Digital marketing is a less expensive way of advertising your business in comparison to traditional marketing methods. Naturally, marketing prices will vary depending on what and how you’re advertising your services and products, however, in general, digital marketing is usually significantly cheaper than other methods of marketing.

Your business has direction and focus

When it comes to the online world, you need to have a target audience and see how they react. This will allow you to understand your customers and give your business more direction in where it needs to head. By understanding your audience, you’re able to set up specific goals and test whether or not your strategy is working. Through a digital marketing agency, for example, they’ll be able to see who your audience is, what services and products they respond to and adjust your online presence in order to benefit.

Taps into the social media market

Though your business may be advertised in the yellow pages and have a mobile-friendly website, you’re still not tapping into the online market. In other words, that’s not enough. Digital marketing focuses on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest in order to promote your business. Through these social media platforms, you’ll be able to target customers in specific cities and communities in order to get your name out there.

Make immediate changes

If you’re not seeing progress with your business after implementing a specific marketing strategy, you don’t need to wait days in order to switch it up. Through digital marketing, you can test different strategies and immediately switch them if you’re not seeing results. This is one of the best features when it comes to digital marketing as you’re able to track your business’s progress and make the necessary changes in order to see what works and what doesn’t. By tracking the overall performance, you’ll be able to save your business wasted time and money.  

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The need for digital security on college and university campuses

Our digital fingerprint continues to become more imprinted the more we use the internet and all digital devices. So much of the world is digitally focused these days – and it is still evolving to envelope what is likely to be the whole planet. This digital imprint is forged differently by every individual; for an individual that works as a diesel mechanic, they are more likely to have most of their digital imprint forged via their social media channels, whereas careers where the use of computers is a daily necessity of the job are likely to have their digital presence forged through not only personal means, but professional outlets as well.

For students of higher education, the digital imprint is deepened several times a week, even several times a day. Every time an individual goes to log into the university mainframe to conduct research for an assignment, they share more of their ideas, personal information, and thoughts. Over the course of their higher education studies, students input so much information into the digital universe that they unwittingly become a large percentage of the cyber attacker’s most commonly targeted demographics. For this reason, secure file sharing in higher educational institutions is more important than ever.

Privacy and security online at college or university campuses is so important because students and educators alike have a constant stream of information and ideas flowing from them, and  because of this the digital systems that house all this information are never quiet. There is always new information being added, and as old students sign out for the last time, new ones use their logs in for the first time, effectively keeping he chain reaction of information churning constantly. With so much sensitive information entered online, students are becoming more aware of the potential risks of entering so much of their lives online, and they are taking protective measures in an attempt to combat the issue head on.

Such protective measures start with the basics: personal, difficult to guess passwords are used and security questions are put in as a second line of defence. As the small-scale protective methods become miniscule defences against online hackers, larger-scale digital defences such as VPN technology and other data protections become standard issue tools for college and university students around the world. It is a stark reality that it is impossible to have complete control online, but taking protective measures online is so important to having the most control possible – especially for those a part of the higher education sector (either students or educators), where sensitive information is literally constantly streaming through the systems.

Higher education institutions have increasingly become targets for hackers to attempt to attack because they hold so much valuable information within their digital (and literal) framework, including (but not limited to) personal data, medical records, and valuable research in fields such as technology and science. The reality of living in a digitally-focused era (and one that is moving insistently towards an even further-digitally-evolved time) is that we are sharing more of our lives online all the time, and security measures not just in colleges and universities, but across the planet are becoming vital to the safety and security of users online.

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3 Easy SEO Tips That Will Boost Your Business, Fast

Search engine optimization (SEO) is necessary for each and every brand with an online presence. Although more traditional marketing tactics are still obligatory for modern businesses, SEO is crucial.

Why’s that? Well, the answer really lies in the fact that Google isn’t just a company – it’s a verb. People are taking to the internet to ask copious questions, and if you’re SEO ranking is high, your website can be the one that both provides them with the information they seek AND captures a returning user.

So, what is SEO exactly? Basically, it is a series of tactics that ensure your website is more discoverable. Some of these tactics lie within the website design, some are rooted in content, but they all work together to push you to page one of a Google search for specific keywords that relate to your business.

  1. Create Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Title tags are unique titles that tell Google what your page is about while stating your main keyword(s). What’s more? They also tell users exactly what’s on the page during a quick internet search.

Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Look at the example above. The “title” in blue is actually the title tag – it’s what Google recognizes as the title (even if you don’t see that exact sentence when you hit the homepage) and what users see when they search for something on Google.

Below the green URL, you’ll see the meta description. This doesn’t actually have a direct effect on SEO, but it’s worth your time to write a quick sentence that tells the user what the page has to offer, as this can drastically improve click rates.

Two important things to note when creating title tags and meta descriptions – they should all be unique. No two pages should ever have the same title tag or the same description, but the former should be written for Google and the latter should be composed with users in mind.

  1. Remove Duplicates Of, Well, Anything

A huge part of SEO is simply making things easy for Google to understand. That’s why we have so many keywords, special tags, coded descriptions… it’s all to flag down Google to say “hey! We’ve got this great piece of content about XYZ, you should let people see it!”

With that in mind, duplicates confuse Google because it won’t know what to promote. And, as any individual does, when Google’s confused, Google throws in the towel, doesn’t promote your content, and rewards your competitor for being clear, concise and duplicate-free.

Thus, it’s imperative to consolidate like content and – as I mentioned early – create unique titles and descriptions for each and every page.

For example, instead of having three articles about website design trends, combine the best parts of each post into one mega-article and redirect two of the three links, so all filter to the same post. This way, Google knows which article it should be promoting. What’s better? You’ve got a valuable piece of content readers will love.

  1. Implement Interlinking

Interlinking is an inexpensive and extremely effective way to boost your SEO ranking. All you have to do is link keywords to relevant content or pages elsewhere on your website – it’s as easy as that!

Although the concept of interlinking is extremely simple, there are a few rules to follow. Firstly, make sure you don’t link to the same location twice within a single blog post or web page (however, you can link to the same location from DIFFERENT articles or web pages on your site).

Also, ensure that the links make sense to the user – you don’t want to have a blog post about motocross linking to an article about beauty products. Instead, look for pages that have similar topics and the same keyword – then, just link that!


Whether you handle your SEO best practices autonomously, with a consultant or in-house expert, or with the help of an SEO agency, there are plenty of little changes – such as the ones above – that will make a huge impact on your business. By ensuring new users can find you and understand what your content is about, you stand a much higher chance at snagged new brand loyalists who will return to your site time and time again.

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8 SEO Fundamentals for Any Small Business

Running a small business can be extremely hard, especially when faced with the overwhelming pressure of competing with larger-scale competitors on online platforms. Most smaller-scale businesses have limited staff, limited time and a limited budget for marketing and advertising initiatives. However, luckily for such businesses, the cost of owning and running a website is relatively low cost and there are several small things that can be done by even the least digitally savvy person that can help a site to improve its status in search engine results pages (SERPS).

Just because you’re operating a small sized business doesn’t mean you have to have a small presence online. Here are some tips that will help you get started and make your website more effective at appearing in SERPs.

  1. Create local SEO pages – ensure you have a local business page for all three major search engines.
  2. Optimise your pages – ensure there is a good amount of quality content that offers relevant and useful information, along with high quality images.
  3. Properly categorise your pages – this will ensure that Google is showing your website to your target market.
  4. Hire an SEO company – there are hundreds of budget SEO companies in Australia that could help to improve your websites online presence. Just be careful pick which SEO company in Australia you work with, as often the really cheap ones of those offering services that seem too good to be true, are in fact too good to be true and are practicing black hat tricks that could severely damage your domain in the long run.
  5. Accurate business information displayed – make sure you have the correct name, phone number and address displayed on your website and that these details are the same across all your business pages on the web, including social media pages. This is especially relevant to your Google+ page and Google maps listing.
  6. Online reviews – online reviews are the equivalent to gold in the online world. A studyconducted by Search Engine Land, showed that Google looks at reviews as a major factor for ranking. However, online reviews have more benefits then simply boosting online rankings and are an extremely valuable source of recommendation and display of user trust. Reviews are quick and easy ways for consumers to decide which link they want to click every small businesses should have strategies around obtaining them.
  7. Quality photos – people who are searching for local businesses want to see photos. Most local accounts including Google+ Local allow you to upload at least 10 pictures, so it’s important to pick your best quality photos that accurately depict your product and service offerings. Photos help consumers to build trust and act as a vote of quality for your business.
  8. Optimise your website – make sure your website is optimised and user friendly. This means having a full operating and useful navigation page, with no internal 404 pages. Also ensure that your main pages are included in the website footer, along with your contact information.

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How to Set Up a Google Adwords Campaign

Campaign: Definition. A set of ad groups (ads, keywords, and bids) that share a budget, location targeting, and other settings. Campaigns are often used to organize categories of products or services that you offer”

Google Adwords campaigns can be a great tool for businesses to get exposure online. However, many business owners don’t know how to set up a Google Adwords campaign themselves. Below is a high level overview of how to set up a google Adwords campaign.

  1. Come up with your campaign type and name. Choose your campaign type. We recommend, for beginners, the “Search Network only” option. Whilst you’re setting this up, give your campaign a name.
  2. Choose the geographic location of your audience. Next, decide how large or small a geographic area you want to target. You can choose between:
  • Whole countries
  • Regions of countries
  • States or provinces
  • Cities
  • custom-designated geographic areas, such as latitude-longitude coordinates – the radius of a set distance around a specific address.
  1. Choose your “bid strategy,” and set your daily budget. Manually set your own bids for clicks. This gives you more control and will help you learn AdWords at a greater level of understanding. You can always change to one of the many automatic options later.

Your daily budget is the maximum that Google is authorized to charge you per day. Set your daily budget so that you’re not burning a black hole into your pocket. Having a safety net is very important.

  1. Create your ad group, and write your first ad. More people click on ads when the headline includes the keyword they’re searching on. So use your keywords in your headline when you can. You’re limited to 25 characters here, so for some search terms, you’ll need to use abbreviations or shorter synonyms.

You’ll be more successful if you describe a benefit on the second line, followed by a feature or offer on the third line. Later on, you can test which order converts better.

  1. Insert your keywords. Paste in your keywords. You can add add plus signs (+), brackets ([ ]), and quotes (“ “) to see precisely how many searches of each type you’ll get. Start with a list of key words, then begin pruning to reduce the number of keywords so you can get more clicks that are relevant, and therefore a higher return on investment.
  2. Set your maximum cost-per-click. Set your maximum price-per-click now (called your “default bid”)/ Every keyword is theoretically a different market, which means that each of your major keywords will need a bid price of its own. Google will let you set individual bids for each keyword later.
  3. Review everything. Reviewing is key as a quality check to ensure that the ad you have set up is going to be the best by your standards.

– Check your ad content and keywords to be sure they’re appropriate.

– Check your cost-per-click to be sure you get the positions on the page you want.

– Check your daily budget to be sure you don’t unwittingly drain your bank account right out of the gate.

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