Website management part 5: health checks

5 min read

If your business is conducted online (for example, if you sell goods on your website) or if you get most of your leads online, then it is important to have your website regularly audited.

A website audit is a full analysis of all of the factors related to your website – from your search engine visibility to the technical functionality of the site, to the way that a user will interact with the design and how they will behave accordingly. We recommend that business owners have an audit of their website once or twice per year – and even more so if they are not getting the results they need.

Why is a website health check (or audit) important?

In the ever-changing digital landscape that we experience today, it is critical that your digital touchpoints remain up to date – this is in terms of best design practices, technical maintenance and software updates, as well as general web trends.

Your competitors might have a strong digital presence, and potential customers weighing up their options will arrive at your website expecting high standards that they see elsewhere. Meeting, or better yet, exceeding this expectation will impress, and will motivate website visitors to find out more about what makes your company stand out from the rest – to look around for your sparkle, so to speak 😉

Our approach

As we have in-house web developers and marketing experts here at Yellow Door, website audits are one of our key services. The following is an overview of what we do when a client comes to us for a website audit:

  1. Competitor and benchmark research:

Before even visiting your website, it’s important to gauge how others in your industry present themselves online. We jot down some notes about what we like and can learn from, to later check whether you have or could implement anything similar.

  1. Organic Google search:

Next, we simply Google a short description of what it is your company does and the area it operates – for example, for Yellow Door we would search “digital marketing agency in Cape Town”. We locate your website link (hopefully on page one of the search results!) to get an idea of how well you rank overall on Google – how well your website is search engine optimised.

  1. Remainder of SEO audit:

Finally, we click through to your website and start off checking on-page SEO. Our developer will inspect the page sources of the pages being audited and search for a variety of critical SEO factors – including an <H1> tag and meta description. Learn more about SEO in part 3 of this website series.

  1. Page speed check:

We use a couple of tools (including our eyes!) to check how quickly the various pages load. If it’s not ideal, we analyse the various reasons as to why this is the case. These can vary from image sizes not being optimised, to CSS and Javascript code that hasn’t been minified.

  1. Content:

It is important to analyse the content presented on your website – questions asked include:

  • What is the first sentence on your homepage?
  • Does the content succinctly get across what you do and why potential customers should choose you?
  • If you operate in the EU, do you have GDPR consent?
  1. Design:

We bring our designers on board at this stage to perform a full audit of the website’s design. Things they look out for are photography (how well does it represent your brand?), typography, buttons, carousels, menus – and perhaps most importantly, mobile friendliness.

  1. Cross-browser compatibility:

You might only check your website in one browser, but what browsers are other people using to access your website? Together with finding the answer to this question via your website analytics, we check your website on the “Big 4”: Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. Ideally, your website should be optimised to work seamlessly on every existing browser, but if it works well on the Big 4, we are happy.

  1. Bring it all together:

We lay the results of the audit out clearly in a document, with sections and subsections, details of our findings, and clear action points listed. We can also order points by priority or complexity, to ensure the quick fixes are done first, and bigger ticket items are budgeted for or added to a timeline.

Kick start the website audit process

If you don’t have budget allocated for an audit just yet, you can get started with these two tips:

  1. Run your URL through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool

Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is a free tool developed by Google that analyses any URL on your website (we recommend simply entering your homepage) and analyses how long it takes for your website to load.

This is important to know because the longer it takes for your site to load, the lower your SEO ranking. The tool ranks the page on a score from 1 – 100, and the aim is to get a score of 90+. Not only does it analyse the page, but it also provides tailored suggestions of what you could do to improve your website’s speed.

  1. Ask a friend!

This step might seem elementary at first, but it actually provides incredible insights that no online tool can yet do! Sending your website to a friend and asking them to browse through it, flag anything that seems odd/ unclear/ is difficult to navigate is a great way to easily (and cost-effectively!) perform a basic audit. A fresh pair of eyes – from a human, of course! – is an effective hack to experience your website as a first-time potential customer might.

 

We hope that from this article you have been able to gain insight into the value of auditing your website every now and then. The more business you get online, the more important it is to be doing this on a regular basis. If you are interested in taking your website to the next level – or if you have an old site that simply needs direction for an upgrade – let’s chat. Please pop us a mail at hello@theyellowdoor.co.za 😊

Packaging design and our process

4 min read

The functional side serves as a protector, carrier, and presenter of your product; while the style side creates the desire for the product, enriches the user’s experience and interaction, and delivers on the brand promise and values.

At Yellow Door we recognise that innovation begins by understanding the brand, the product, the target market, and defining the design parameters: budget, timeline, goals, requirements, and materials.

In this blog post we will touch on the process we follow when it comes to packaging design, and hopefully provide some insight in to how important your packaging is, not only to your product or its consumers/ users, but your brand too.

First contact and all the admin

You contact us to take your product to the next level. We schedule in a meeting to chat, and to determine the objectives, scope of work, budget and timeline. After the meeting we will process everything and provide you with a quote. Once the quote has been accepted and the deposit paid, we get started.

Insights and research

There are many things to consider when starting a packaging design project: the brand and its position in the industry, the brand’s strategy and values, product integrity, the target audience and consumer segments, distribution channels, the materials that will be used, the style, and how the product will be advertised.

With so much to consider, insights are fundamental in understanding the task at hand. To do that, we ask you lots of questions, pick your brain, get perspective, do research, brainstorm, consult the oracle, come up with ideas, find inspiration, and conceptualise, so that we can provide the perfect solution to your packaging needs.

Telling the story

Throughout the design process we continue to tell the story, the story that you want us to tell. It might be the story of your brand or the story of how the product was made, or how the idea for the product came about. Whatever the story, we marry it to your product throughout the design, in a way that promotes not only the product and your brand, but human connection as well.

Once this first bit of magic has happened, we present our packaging concepts to you. You critique, question, inspect with a fine-tooth comb, give feedback, and eventually choose the concept that speaks to you and your audience. We then tweak, get more feedback, work our magic, sprinkle in some more creativity, and produce the final artwork concept ready for your approval.

Be courageous, there is no reward without risk

Having a final packaging design is only half the job, now comes the printing, testing, and finally, production phase. If all the research, brainstorming, and analysis was done correctly then this should be a relatively easy process.

Get samples printed of your packaging and test it out with consumers, staff, or online via advertising and social media, and even give it to a few retailers to display in their stores.

Once you have processed all the feedback, design changes and tweaks can be made, and the final packaging can go into production. If all goes to plan your product will blow the minds of your audience and sales will soar. We can work with the printers in finalising your packaging or you can take it to the printers of your choosing, it is completely up to you.

‘Inspired originality in packaging design is the true path to creating impact. Lead, never follow.’ – Exelio Mattos

Creating packaging that is on-brand, innovative, and engaging can be a complex and even daunting prospect. At Yellow Door, we take a hands-on and holistic approach, we not only value but implement your feedback, we strive to be innovative and creative, and create a packaging design solution that resonates with your brand, your audience, and keeps your consumers coming back for more.

5 ways to measure PR success

3 min read

A key trick in the magic box of marketing is public relations, more commonly referred to as PR. And in our holistic approach at Yellow Door, PR is often integrated into our digital marketing strategy. We love coming up with newsworthy angles and pitch them to relevant publications on behalf of our clients.

The measurement method, and often the KPI for PR service providers, is Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE). Quintessentially this metric advises clients what they would’ve paid in advertising value to feature in a certain publication, online or broadcast channel.

The argument of whether or not the metric is an effective way to measure PR success started around five years ago (at least locally), however the evolvement to find a new solution for tracking success has been relatively slow as industry experts sit divided on the matter.

This past month, a couple of our clients were featured in respected online publications and broadcast channels. Thinking it would be impressive to include an AVE figure of the coverage received off the back of our efforts in our month end reports, I consulted the publications to enquire what the estimated AVE would be. To my surprise, three out of the four media houses responded with a similar retort: “Excuse my ignorance but what is AVE?”

This got me thinking. Sure, including a large number on paper can make you look impressive to clients when you can boast you’ve saved them over R100k in ad spend; however, is AVE an effective, and better yet, a fair way of measuring PR success? In my opinion, no.

So how do we track the success of this marketing tool?

Here are five ways that we can measure, without AVE, the effectiveness of a PR campaign:

1. Media impressions:

Asking an online publication for the number of media impressions received is a good start. How many people read your story?

2. Press clippings:

Another way to assess your PR efforts is to keep track of the number of publications (online or print) that mention your brand. Although be warned to not get caught up in quantity over quality. It is vital that your name is appearing in titles relevant to your target audience.

3. Website traffic:

Measuring the amount of traffic your website receives before and after pitching a press statement to media is a good indicator of reaching a desired market. Analysing spikes in website traffic should give you a good idea if the results were off the back of your PR efforts.

4. Lead generation:

If your brand is being spoken about in relevant media titles, it should directly result in leads. To find out how new customers heard of your company and service offering, simply ask them.

5. Social media:

Following a pitch, keep an eye on your social media following to track whether or not there in an increase in followers. Social media measurements should also focus on conversations about your brand, as well as social communities in your industry.

So next time you want to measure the success of a media pitch or PR campaign keep these measurements in mind. It certainly removes the pressure of having to present a big fat Rand figure to bean counting business owners and, in my opinion at least, is a more effective way of evaluating your success.

If you’d like to find out more about our PR offering at Yellow Door, please pop me an email at sarah@theyellowdoor.co.za

Are you going to hibernate or hustle this winter?

3 min read

The answer to the second question is pretty straightforward – your marketing team will tell you that you missed out on engagement opportunities, traction and leads; and your financials will tell you that sales are down! You may also be slow off the mark when peak season does kick in.

So, let’s focus on ways to address the first question, with some practical tips to ensure that your brand is alive and kicking throughout winter:

Find the right headspace

If you’re in retail, hospitality, tourism or marketing, summer in Cape Town is often a blur. As a result, some much needed downtime is always a priority when winter rolls in.

The problem arises when this sloth-like behaviour becomes a habit, rather than a week or two set aside to recharge! Sound familiar?

If you’re nodding or smiling in agreement but know it’s time to get your head back in the game, we suggest starting with a little dose of creativity. This can be anything from an afternoon at Clay Café to a stroll through a gallery.

In the past month we’ve prioritised two team building events. The first was an interactive workshop on productivity and self-awareness with Tammy Godsall from

The Happiness Consultancy; followed by a creative workshop with Lynnae Lyons from by.me jewellery. Both afternoons left me with a spring in my step and the headspace to tackle strategic tasks I’d been putting off.

 

Ditch the to do list

A to do list is never ending… whereas a priority list has purpose. We challenge you to identify and commit to three important tasks. Remember that you don’t have to tackle them on your own, so delegate and get the support you need, whether it’s from a business partner, colleague or mentor.

Maybe it’s time to focus on revenue targets, introduce a new product line or reassess your marketing efforts. What’s actually working, and what do you need more or less of?

Clients often plan a marketing strategy workshop for the beginning of the year, but a mid-year stocktake when you have time to focus may be just what your brand needs.

Double up on marketing

You’re probably thinking that I’m bound to say this, as I run a marketing agency! However, my rationale goes a bit deeper than that.

Honest, authentic brands take time to build loyalty and gain market share, and a strong foundation is what counts.

According to InMoment’s 2018 US Retail CX Trends Report, 80% of shoppers said they grew to love a brand over time; the cumulative effect of great products, service, buying experiences, positive reviews and recommendations from others.

So my final challenge to each of you is to take the time to invest in your marketing while you have headspace and that priority list on hand, and make sure it’s working for you.

I’ve already mentioned our workshops, but other digital marketing priorities could include a rebrand; a new landing page on your website; or a content plan to see you through to summer. A Business 2 Community study suggests that 71% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media – so don’t underestimate the power of a curated Instagram feed!

And lastly, remember that no two brands are the same. Your marketing strategy should be aligned with your business objectives and tailored to get maximum results within your budget. If you need help doing this, we’d love to assist – just pop me an email at emma@theyellowdoor.co.za.

Personas: a waste of time or an insightful tool?

4 min read

What are personas?

Personas are a UX tool, designated for a segment of the user experience research process that helps designers create a somewhat fictional user. What do designers do with these fictional users you ask? Well, quite plainly they are meant to navigate the gauntlet of buttons, pages, and text of a primordial product.

Personas consist entirely of personal information, skills, interests and other information that makes up a real human’s personality. You could potentially look at a persona as being a CV. But in this case, they are not applying for a job, they are simply there to help designers discover if their newly thought up product is navigable or not.

Personas can be old or young, tech-savvy or technologically challenged… however, the primary direction designers take when creating a persona is that of their target market. This aligns their fictional user’s interests and skills with the newly produced product in question.

Are personas useful?

To make a long story short… maybe.

Okay, I lied about the matter being simple, this question is purely context-specific. Some products are simple enough that they apply to a broader target market, and the product could make use of functionality that is already prevalent in countless other products.

This means that the product in question could be intuitive for most users already (let’s say it’s an e-commerce website), anyone who makes use of the internet on a regular basis has come across an e-commerce website. The process is simple enough; browse, add to cart, checkout, payment, delivery (give or take a few steps).

The process seems easy and intuitive, however, the fact that these websites are generally easy to navigate and operate does not exempt users from the toil of having to backtrack through their journey, choose different sizing options or find something they saw earlier more easily.

This is where personas come into the mix; they help us create those non-conforming users that have radically different online shopping habits. As these users fumble through the bits and bobs of the prototype website in question, they will undoubtedly come across a wall at some point.

Our job as designers is to test every possible situation and user flow through the website in order to find possible errors or redundant sections, filter through and tweak the product to its optimal level of usability. If you can see where users may get stuck in a more intuitive website scenario such as this, imagine the chaos users face when navigating completely new ground.

How does Yellow Door make use of personas?

Something Em loves doing in our team strategy sessions is combining personas with a SWOT analysis. We begin by making a list of a user’s traits; age, behaviour, job, relationship status… the works. Then we create a spider diagram, finding what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats they may run into. This combination allows us to effectively find the channels best suited for that client’s marketing needs, and what we can do to boost their business.

These sessions – above all else – are fun! We have a time and a half as a team doing these strategy games, they leave us and our clients buzzing with excitement and hopeful about all the opportunity we can bring to the table. I would say that these persona-esque strategy sessions allow us a unique insight into what is possible to bring to the table, and what we need to watch out for along the way… discovering trends we think may work, and isolating issues before they pop up.

Should I use them or not?

Generally, as designers developing products, from UI to UX… Our goal is to be fundamentally selfless, assume nothing about a user’s capability, and just do the tedious things (cough, cough… personas), in order to understand our target market better. Even if we incrementally gain one iota of information at a time.

So yes, suck it up and make a persona… here at Yellow Door we make a fun game out of it and learn a bunch in the process, so why not own it and learn something new in the process!

Website management part 4: conversion optimisation

5 min read

Website management part 4: conversion optimisation

By Kirsten Meintjes

Posted on 12th June 2019

People often think that at this point, it’s time to pop the champagne! In the first few months that your website is live, provided you are continuously maintaining the site to be well-optimised, you can see the traffic coming in. Which is all very well, however, this does not guarantee conversion.

In parts 1-3 of my website management series, I covered some technical terminology, the basics of how to update your website, as well as how to put measures in place for your website to rank well on search engines (search engine optimisation).

What exactly is ‘conversion’?

The best way to understand conversion is by asking yourself the following: Are people actually doing what I want them to do on my website? Typically this is 1) sales, if you sell products, or 2) enquiries, if you offer services.

 

You can have the most beautifully designed website in the world, that gets a lot of traffic too. However, if visitors are not actually doing what you need them to do, then where’s the return on investment?

The conversion funnel

This is where the conversion funnel comes in. As visitors land on your site, your aim should be to guide them through the process of eventually achieving your desired outcome. The truth is, however, that the average website only converts 2.35% of its website visitors. So, what goes wrong?

Barriers to conversion

1) Resistance to change

 

Website design is fluid. This could mean many things – but to me, it means that what works on a website today might not work as well in the future.

For example, when PPC (Pay Per Click) ads were initially growing in popularity, adding a banner advertisement at the top of a web page saw high conversion rates. In other words, they drew people’s attention away from the page itself, who would be more likely to click on these banners to find out more. Nowadays, however, people who frequently browse the web have been conditioned to avoid these ads. Nobody reads them anymore.

If your website was designed to best practices three years ago, and hasn’t been touched since, chances are that it’s a little outdated and might not be yielding as successful results. It’s important to keep ahead of the curve when it comes to design – and to allocate budget to allow for this.

2) Creativity takes preference

 

We all want our websites to reflect our brands, right? For example, if your brand stands for minimalism, and ‘less is more’, then you likely won’t want a busy and colourful site. However, you might be taking things a bit too far if you don’t believe that buttons will work at all on your homepage, or if you’d like your website visitors to watch a lengthy video before having the option to navigate through the site. There needs to be a good balance between creativity and conversion techniques. Trust your web designers 😉

3) Poorly designed landing pages

 

 

Whether you have just launched and need some brand awareness, or are running a season special, it’s likely that you have run some targeted advertisements to generate traffic to your website. With such ads, the number one mistake that people make is to not have a landing page.

 

If you are targeting people who are looking for “Season special discount summer Cape Town accommodation”, and they are directed simply to the homepage of an accommodation website (without such a special being front and centre), it is unlikely that this traffic will convert.

 

 

Having a specially formulated landing page is critical for every advert that you run. When I search for “Season special discount summer Cape Town accommodation” and click on an advert that takes me to your website – that is all I want to see. This landing page should have information relating to that exact special, as well as one clear call to action (such as “Book now”) close to the top of the page. There should be no room for confusion, or getting distracted and landing on other pages. You have a visitor who is interested specifically in your special. At this stage, show this – and only this – to them.

Following these guidelines and pointers, I hope that you can look at your website with a fresh perspective, being able to clearly state who you would like to visit your website, what they might be looking for, and how best you can get this to them. If you’d like to set up a coffee to chat about your site in more detail please let me know – kirsten@theyellowdoor.co.za – our yellow door is always open

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Be a better speaker: presenting and pitching tips

4 min read

Be a better speaker: presenting and pitching tips

By Anthony Horne

Posted on 29th May 2019

Between nerves, technological meltdowns and stage fright, public speaking can turn the most professional business person into a wet-behind-the-ears intern. Once mastered though, it can be a powerful networking and self-promotional tool.

In this blog post I will touch on some golden tips that will help you blow the minds of your audience or at least keep them interested during your presentation, interview, pitch or talk.

Your story – your opinion

Are you not feeling entertained?” echoed through the auditorium. “Well, no, how can I be when you’re boring me to death?” – maybe it’s not that dramatic but nothing replaces a really great story. Even better a true story, one that your audience can relate to. Tell your audience your story, who you are, what your opinions are and why, interact, and connect with your audience. Make them feel like they’re a part of your story.

Connection – share the highs and the lows

Public speaking is great for self-promotion, but self-promotion shouldn’t be your entire speech. People didn’t pay to hear you blow smoke up your own butt. They came to learn about you and your work. To hear about your life, story or process. Connect with them by telling them about your failures and successes, your mistakes and missed opportunities, the ups and the downs.

The audience is here for a reason – so put them first

Probably the most important tip besides not being boring is to put the audience front and centre. They came here for a reason and will have expectations. You need to deliver on these expectations, whatever they may be. If they came here to learn about social media, they won’t be impressed if by 30 minutes in, you haven’t spoken about any social media platforms yet or seen any examples. Keep that in mind.

Delivery – it’s not what you say but how you say it

Some of the greatest speeches in human history might weren’t written by the people who presented them, but they are remembered because of the way they were delivered. I have a dream – except no one can hear me so no one cares. Don’t let that be the case. Whether you’re speaking to one person in a boardroom or 5 000 at a conference, the power and effectiveness of your words lie in the delivery of them.

 

Some simple ways to improve your delivery are to:

  • take it slow (don’t rush)
  • have a conversation (don’t read)
  • engage (connect with your audience)
  • practice makes perfect (preparation will help you overcome those nerves)
  • have a plan B and C (in case something goes wrong)
  • be confident in yourself and your abilities

Technology – an investment in professionalism

In a world where technology has improved our lives by leaps and bounds, it is still considered a Hail Mary in public speaking. It will either make or break you, and that’s the wrong outlook to have. The tech is only as good as its user. Written notes are great as a backup, but a well-designed presentation, a video or an interactive portfolio will always trump a page filled with words.

There are so many ways to improve your public speaking, and these suggestions just scratch the service. The only thing standing in your way is yourself and your excuses. You can be the greatest presenter or speaker you want to be, all that’s needed is for you to put in the work to achieve it. Now, go out there and make those connections.

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Seeing yellow – how we harness change for the better

4 min read

Seeing yellow – how we harness change for the better

By Danielle Scheepers

Posted on 16th May 2019

You only have to scroll through our Instagram to see how much Yellow Door has evolved over the last couple of years. Not only has the team grown and changed externally, but clients and our approach to marketing is constantly being evaluated and updated.

It’s been a fun, and sometimes challenging ride – but we wouldn’t have it any other way. This article is going to serve as a mini audit on life behind the Yellow Door through the eyes of the resident wordsmith.​

Values

Within the first month that I joined Yellow Door, we sat down as a team and defined our values. There had been an existing set that were agreed upon, but Dom and Em felt it was time that they were revisited.

 

We sat around the boardroom table in the old office setting and wrestled, debated and explained our vote for various values. In the end, there was a surprising alignment of values and consensus on how we define ourselves. Here is what we came up with:

 

  • Integrity
  • Consistency
  • Authenticity
  • Can-do
  • Care why

We feel pretty solid about these, but who knows what the next phase will bring. One thing is for sure, we have returned to these values time and again.

Team

I remember the first time I visited the Yellow Door website (which incidentally has been upgraded in the meantime). I was struck by something that Em had said along the lines of: ‘we invest and develop young, talented people who are eager to learn about the industry.’

 

Every six months we employ a new intern, who brings new ideas, insights, strengths and weaknesses which sharpens the whole team and keeps us on our toes.

 

The proverbial Yellow Door is always kept open for talent from the outside. We have some of the most dedicated, talented people that I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and we are richer with every new addition.

 

Although it is always sad to see past employees leave, there is never a shred of resentment from either side and it makes for a healthy team and office environment. There is always room for all involved to grow, and the door is left open on the way out.

The YellowDoor Co-55

Space

Ergonomics are an important factor in producing quality work. Our office environment has been tweaked, shifted and adjusted to make sure that everyone is comfortable and working well.

 

Very shortly we will be moving into a new venue altogether! Rather than seeing this as an interruption, we are getting excited to make it our own. Watch this space for an address update.

Clients

As a marketing agency, we want to continue aligning with brands which we feel we can connect with, support and build lasting relationships with.

 

Our clientele may be diverse, but we value all of them for the many lessons and opportunities to grow which we have been provided with. As we become more confident in our identity, we have made the point of choosing our clients wisely. Shared values, quality work and sustainability is the name of the game.

Vision

Where to next? We keep our eyes on the horizon and continue to allow the marketing tide to guide us while keeping a firm hand on the rudder at all times. One thing we can say for certain is that exciting times lie ahead.

 

Bring the change!

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How to wear the multiple hats of a business owner with ease

3 min read

How to wear the multiple hats of a business owner with ease

By Emma Donovan

Posted on 7th May 2019

As a business owner, you have to wear multiple hats and learn to focus on the ones that are most important right now – acknowledging that they will change along the way. As we approach Yellow Door’s fifth birthday, my top two are securing new clients and leading strategy workshops. In this blog post I’ll unpack this a bit further, share some tips that keep me on track.

My new business director hat

YellowDoorCo-105

About 14 months ago we decided to focus on attracting not just bigger clients, but the right clients. Clients that share our values and want a strategic marketing partner to add value to their business over time.

 

I spend more than half of my time on this – and no two days are the same. It ranges from coming up with ways to improve our offering and how we position Yellow Door to networking, meeting potential clients and pouring over spreadsheets!

 

It’s taught me to have patience, to have courage and to really play to my strengths of woo, ideation and communication.

My strategy hat

pooh

This is how I feel when I wake up to run a strategy workshop! In fact, I love everything about them:

 

  • Collaborating with brilliant minds – our clients, our team and often a consultant or two to bring a fresh perspective
  • Quality time – phones are off, and the rest of the world can wait
  • Thinking on my feet – we often go off script, and that’s when the magic happens
  • Creativity – whether it’s a brand story, a marketing plan or a campaign; it’s starting with a clean slate and crafting something new
  • Discovery – we get to learn about an array of industries, suggest ways to incorporate new trends, and improve our offering along the way

Four more hats

In a typical day at the office I also wear hats of an editor, mentor, partner and planner. And the secret is to get the balance right between them. It takes practice, and is a work in progress, but here are seven tips that have helped me to stay sane:

 

  • Start the day with a priority list not a to do list
  • Stay agile
  • Surround yourself with people that you can learn from
  • Ask for help, don’t try to do it all yourself
  • Celebrate the small wins as well as the big ones
  • Set goals
  • Find the balance between the big picture and what needs to happen today

 

If you’d like to work with Yellow Door or find out more about our strategy workshops, pop me an email: emma@theyellowdoor.co.za and we can connect over coffee or Skype.

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Website management part 3: how do I improve my SEO?

6 min read

Website management part 3: how do I improve my SEO?

By Kirsten Meintjes

Posted on 24th April 2019

Let’s set the scene – imagine if I told you right now that that one thing you have always wanted but never found actually exists and is available. Today. Naturally you would ask me where it is, and how you can find it. But before I had mentioned it, you would not have known about its existence.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is much like this. No matter how beautiful and perfectly-suited your website is to your target market, if they have no way of locating your website in the first place, it may as well be an undiscovered desert island in the middle of the sea. Nobody will find it.

 

Global eCommerce sales are expected to break the $3 trillion mark in 2019, and already more than 50% of consumers in both America and the UK prefer to shop online. And companies have cottoned on to this. In an overwhelming sea of goods and services offered online, ensuring you rank well on a search engine is more important today than ever before. The top three listings on a Google search page get 61% of clicks, so it is critical to optimise your website to compete on this front.

 

Here are a couple of systems and tools we recommend you put into place to ensure your business ranks well.

Internal SEO

This is SEO which is ‘internal’ to your website. They are elements which you will have most control over. If Yellow Door creates your website, we cover the first two bases (the third is an optional extra).

1. Meta title, description, and keywords

These three elements are important as they are exactly what will appear in the search engine result. If you have a WordPress website, we recommend using the plugin All in One SEO pack or Yoast SEO to add these three key attributes to your posts and pages.

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2. Mobile-friendly (responsiveness)

It is no secret these days that all digital products need to be mobile-friendly, or responsive. mCommerce (mobile commerce) is set to take over eCommerce in 2019, and this figure is expected to rise to 72% by 2021.

A mobile-friendly website is not just a smaller version of a website, it requires larger buttons (think thumbs and not pointers) and fewer but more powerful images (think data limits when on the move). Google favours sites that accommodate all screen sizes and are therefore easy for a visitor to use, regardless of what device they use to access it.

3. Website relevance

In essence, ask yourself whether your website is stale or relevant to today’s Google searches. You might have created incredible content – or sold brand new products – many years ago. If the most recent product released for sale on your website is an iPhone 5, Google is not going to rank it as a relevant tech eCommerce website.

Similarly, if your recent blog posts about traveling the world were last posted in 2016, how competitive will you be compared to the countless travel blogs that have more recent content?

External SEO

This is SEO which is ‘external’ to your website; in other words, things that are not built-in attributes of your website, yet still affect its ranking.

1. Google Knowledge Panel

Let’s be honest – when we talk about Search Engine Optimisation, we are only really focusing on one of the many search engines – Google. As of January 2019, Google had 89.95% of the search engine market share.

If you have taken the time (or have outsourced the job to us) to claim and update your business listing on Google, the search engine will have more information about your business that will correlate with what appears on your website. You have taken the time to provide potential customers with quick information, therefore you will be rewarded with a better rank score.

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2. Google reviews

If your business has positive reviews on your Google business listing, then the search engine is more likely to promote your business’ website over and above a competitor with a lower average review score (or none at all!)

Tip: encourage current and past clients to leave a review for you on Google after you have successfully completed a project.

3. Traffic

A good indicator as to whether your business will appeal to future website visitors is to see if it appeals to current ones already. In other words, if you have a high volume of traffic to your website, this indicates to Google that your business is of interest to people and this motivates it to display its URL to potential visitors going forward.

One way to improve traffic to your website is via backlinks. If your URL is listed on a number of other websites (i.e. if there are many backlinks), then people on those other websites are easily directed to yours. This also reinforces your business’ legitimacy to Google.

Another way to create high volumes of traffic to a website – the easier method of the two, especially for a new business – is through advertising. Website traffic ads can target people of specific interests and buying habits that match your target market. This method requires digital marketing expertise but is a sure-fire way to increase the number of people accessing your website. Retaining visitors and converting them is another story 😉 The website conversion funnel will be covered in part 4 of this series.

If there is one key insight to take away from this SEO piece, allow it to be my core philosophy: a website can be as beautifully-designed as some of the best in the world – but there is no point in having a beautiful island in the middle of the sea without anything pointing in its direction. Stay relevant and ensure enough people know the route to get to your business’ presence online.

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