Since I started working with Magik New Media I have the use of a company iPhone. You simply can’t work at a place that creates apps without testing all those fun, cool, interesting and crazy apps that are on the market.
My tech-savvy colleagues were eager to hear which apps I had gotten first, anticipating that I would be blown away by all those cool productivity apps on the market. You should have seen the look on their faces when I told them what I thought was the best app so far:
I had been camping that weekend and as the sun was setting I realised I had forgotten my torch. It was a long walk from the coast back to our tent still. Luckily my partner saw the light: “There’s an app for that”, he reminded me! I downloaded a torch and we made it to the campsite ok. Some apps are more than genius: they are lifesavers!
1. WhatsApp for free instant messaging with my oversees friends and family
2. EverNote to keep all my snippets, infographics and links that I collect from various websites in 1 handy Notebook that I can sync with my laptop at home and at work. I use EverNote for recipes, directions, and sharing notes with work mates.
3. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Skype and all other Social Media Apps. I can now follow my friends and update my official pages on the go.
4. Flipboard to keep up to date with the latest news with my own selection of online media sources.
1. Flags Fun App. This is a memory and guessing game for international flags. The problem is that the free version keeps showing the same flags, and the game has become too easy, certainly not fun. These days I use it when I want to get to sleep quickly. Zzzzz.
2. Heart Rate App. Handy for if you have weak heart and need to know how your ticker is doing. The only problem is that you don’t always get a good reading when you put your finger over your smartphone’s flash light window, so at times you may think you are dead. Slightly worrying. This app gives you a friendly reminder to check your heart rate from time to time and the app seems to know when I am stressed. Just the other week I had booked a flight from the wrong airport and I was frantically trying to sort that out, when I got a little message: ”Time to check your heart rate!” It made me laugh and I instantly relaxed ☺.
3. Recalls AU App. This customer service app was released just last week by the ACCC, to inform consumers about all product recalls from all brands in Australia. Handy, sure, but the list is so revealing and so long, that I’d rather not know in which food I can expect plastic particles today and which items may explode tomorrow. Too depressing! It downloads a lot of data to your smartphone, so I ended up deleting the app.
A good public transport Trip Planner app! Something that gets your there quick (unlike Apple Maps).
Buses and ferries are not always keeping to their schedule, so sometimes I’ve got just minutes to find out what an alternative way is to get to work in time (if the weather is no good for cycling). But to my astonishment there is no reliable free TransLink smartphone app that allows you to plan your journey on the go. You have to browse to their website instead, which takes ages to load on a Wifi connection. Surely developing an app like this would be cheaper than positioning all those Customer Service Transport Officers with tablets at busy bus stations during rush hour? A missed opportunity! Come on Brisbane: There’s an app op for that!
Do you have a great app idea and some money to invest in it?
Talk to the team from Magik Apps. They know how to develop good apps!
Temperatures rose to a sweltering 38 degrees in Brisbane this week. Good thing we got that aircon fixed last month! Falls Creek had snow. And that in the same country! Talking about hot (or not): there are some pretty remarkable trends in the world of web development that will dominate the new year.
I think the following trends are here to stay for 2013:
In an earlier blog I’ve already discussed responsive website design, which is very much in demand due to the massive increase in mobile phone searches. Mobile Internet is evolving at a rapid pace and if you want to serve both the desktop as the smartphone market, a responsive website is the way forward. Here are some other trends that will most likely dominate the Internet landscape in 2013:
We will see a lot more new fonts in web design in 2013. Watch out Verdana and Helvetica, you are on your way out! Web font foundries, such as Google fonts and Typekit, allow web developers to use a whole range of new fonts in their designs. Original fonts and bold, large headlines that catch the eye are a great way to enhance your online presentation, as long as it is in line with your branding strategy.
For a while there was a trend of Metro Styling. This is a website design grid with many different solid coloured boxes, alternated with text boxes and images. In 2012 this phased out a bit and large banner sliders became a hit. These moving banners are a great way to make the homepage of your website a showcase for all of your services and special products, without people having to scroll to find it. We will see more massive image sliders the coming year. The trend is here to stay due to the many easy-to-implement open source plug-ins for beautiful image sliders that are now available.
This year we have been presented with beautifully designed infographics and they are definitely here to stay. I love them because infographics are a great tool to visualise data in an eye-catching and fun way, without information overload. However, the main reason why infographics will still be around in 2013 is that they are part of link bait strategies for company websites. This means that Infographics are inviting enough for people to share them on social media, and to attract links from other websites.
Parallax scrolling gives the impression of three-dimensional website design, while in fact all objects are still just in 2D. The images are just placed on different layers and scrolled on different speeds, so they ‘almost jump out of the screen’. It is not a new technique, but it has been mainly used in gaming so far. For website design, a parallax scrolling interactive banner is a sure way to grab the attention. People are getting used to 3D movies, so it’s expected they’ll take to 3D-alike website banners. Here’s a Parallax demonstration on YouTube
At Magik New Media we are always keeping up with the latest trends in web design and if you are interested in one of the above trends for your company website, feel free to call us for ideas and quotes!
Oh, hang on, I nearly forgot to tell you what is NOT so hot anymore in 2013:
Flash is fun because it adds animations and beautiful banners to websites, but it’s not compatible with Apple devices and slow to load on mobile networks. Websites designed with written content in Flash are also bad for SEO because the text is not ‘findable’ by Google. Luckily there is HTML 5 and CSS3, which allow for a lot of interactivity in design as well.
Do you know the retro ‘kitchen’ style? I’m not talking about kitchen tiles and chairs from the 80s, but a trend in web design (you can see it in the banner above, on the right). We’ve seen a lot of it in 2012. In 2013 this will still be a lukewarm favourite, but is certainly cooling down. Don’t get me wrong. I like it! It is beautiful, unpretentious, and ‘homey’, and it is certainly a nice change from modern sleek designs, but it has come to the point that it has been used too much and people want something original again.
Australian retailers have often been criticised for being too slow to embrace ecommerce websites. An Online Shopping Event last week showed that they are not quite ready to serve the millions of online Australian shoppers online. Which is a shame, because consumers are now ready for some serious Christmas gift and food shopping and most of them do their product research online.
What happened last week is that a new initiative called Click Frenzy offered discounts up to 50% for online purchases during a 24-hour period. The idea was borrowed from the US, where Cyber Monday is a big success. It is every retailers dream that customers flock to their website in a shopping frenzy, so many major Australian brands joined the well-marketed Australian online shopping event.
Click Frenzy was advertised as ‘The sale that stops the nation’, but became the sale that stopped the server. Click Frenzy’s website and the sites of many participating retailers couldn’t keep up with all the clicks and crashed. Millions of Australian online customers who were ready to get their credit cards out went home with nothing (or rather: stayed home with nothing). More worryingly: ZDNet reported a security slip. Allegedly the username, password, and IP address for the by Click Frenzy’s back-end database were exposed for several hours.
How this is good news…
As you can imagine, the social media backlash was vicious and on Twitter #ClickFrenzy soon became #ClickFail. The retailers that took part were obviously very disappointed that the server let them down, but in the media the good news got overlooked:
In fact, I heard in the news this week that people are expecting to spend $400 each on Christmas gifts this year and that 30% of it will be spent online.
I don’t think those consumers have been turned off e-retailing after Click Frenzy’s failed experiment. I think they just want retailers to get it right next time. To illustrate this: Dick Smith reported getting 175,000 visitors to his website in what remained of the 24 hours after the Click Frenzy website had crashed. People were determined to get a bargain online.
If you own a retail store and don’t sell online yet, you should definitely consider starting an ecommerce website in 2013. You can outsmart your competition by selling your products 24/7 and by offering a convenient shopping experience. Just make sure you get it right and don’t skimp on the website design and web hosting services. To avoid another #ClickFail, your ecommerce website should be located on its own separate server, have fast-loading pages, and offer secure online payment options and security certificates for customer’s details.
Talk to us!
If you want to have an ecommerce website for 2013 contact Magik New Media. We design custom-made websites for retailers in Brisbane. We can have your business online in no time!
You may have heard people talking about responsive websites and thought: “What on earth is that?”
Basically, responsive web design is a term for websites that ‘automatically’ adapt their layout to the platform it is being viewed on. So on large desktop screens, small mobile screens, or touch screens on tablets, the website looks roughly the same in design, but is actually crafted for optimal display on those devices.
Responsive web design was definitely a trending topic in the web design world in 2012 and it is here to stay for 2013. More and more businesses need a website that can be browsed on a mobile device, because 50% of all mobile searches happen on smartphones or tablets these days.
In this blog we answer a few common questions that people ask about this type of web design.
Answer: Unless you have specifically asked your web designer for a website that suits all platforms, your current website will be most likely just be designed for regular computer screens. In that case your website isn’t showing up properly on smartphones and tablets and may also be hard to navigate on those devices. People will have to wait long for the page to download, will have to scroll and pan a lot and may not be able to view all the content. As a result they’ll get fed up, and leave. If they do, they probably never come back.
Answer: There are a few ways to improve the way your website shows up on mobile phones and one method is making the whole website ‘responsive’. This means that every time someone on a mobile device visits your website, they get presented with a simplified version of your website, which is optimised for display on small screens and will loaded faster. The navigation will also be made simpler, for easy viewing on small screens.
Answer: So-called ‘media queries’ in the coding of responsive websites make sure the page uses a different style rule on each device. The style sheet is called a CSS, and it ‘tells’ the website whether it is being viewed on a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop. The CSS then ‘orders’ the website to change certain displays, so the pages and images load faster and fit the screen better. In order to achieve this, the page layout, the image sizes, the website menu, and the content options all need to be prepared for small screen viewing.
Answer: Yes. At Magik New Media we can offer RWD, which is Responsive Web Design. We can recode and restyle your existing website to make it adapt to all platforms. We will craft the website and its contents to provide an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices.
Answer: Yes, you can. If you want to service both consumer groups (the ones that browse on a laptop or PC and the ones that browse on the go) but don’t want to redesign your existing website, we can develop a mobile website that co-exists with you current website. The mobile website then gets ‘switched on’ as soon as people view your website on a mobile device.
2013 is near and it is a great time to reflect on the past year. What were your main achievements in 2012? Did your business grow as planned?
At Magik we are happy to say that we can look back at a very successful year, despite the ongoing economic downturn and retail slump. Many businesses wisely decided that the lull in sales was the time to improve their online presence in order to keep those customers coming. We were overwhelmed with new website and app requests in the first quarter of the year and still we get daily calls from local retailers and manufacturers who need a website or app developed.
We have successfully launched 46 websites / SEO campaigns this year and have received great feedback from our clients who saw their online sales and leads increase. In between digital designs we have worked on our long-term business goals and found time to start some exciting new business ventures.
The Magik team is looking forward to expand on this next year and during our weekly meeting we found ourselves already brainstorming about our goals for 2013. One of our targets is to create even more partnerships with local Brisbane business owners who need help with their online presence. This week I read a news article about a digital audit that has concluded that the majority of Brisbane businesses had no digital strategy to speak of yet (and we’re talking 2012!).
To us, that’s an amazing finding. At Magik New Media we can’t even imagine doing business without websites, apps and other digital solutions, let alone ignoring the effect of social media on Sales and Corporate Identity. If you ask us, every Brisbane business, big or small, should have set goals for online marketing and digital efficiency, because it can save you so much money.
Of course this finding offers potential for growth of our business. If local business owners need a digital strategy, but don’t know where to start, we could help them out, right?! Working on digital solutions for business growth is what we do all day, every day, and we surely have some tips to share.
Magik New Media offers digital solutions. We can help you with website design, SEO, online marketing, web applications, web hosting, and even stationary. In 2013 we expect a huge demand for mobile websites and we have some great applications and designs that make mobile browsing (and shopping!) easy, fast and fun.
Want to know more? Call us for an obligation-free consultation about digital solutions for your company: T. 1300 353 700.
When comparing website design companies, keep in mind that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you need a user-friendly ecommerce website with a robust client database and a secure online payment system, a quote of under $1000 just isn’t realistic.
Sure, you may end up with a nice looking website with your logo on it and a basic shopping trolley, but your customers deserve a great user experience. It is no good if they can’t find items, can’t subscribe to your services, or encounter problems when purchasing items. They may never come back!
The problem with hiring a cheap or inexperienced web designer is that you probably end up having to redo the whole website as soon as you discover that the technique used just doesn’t cut it. This can end up costing your business thousands of dollars.
At Magik New Media we recommend getting it right in the first place. Here are some Magik tips for Brisbane business owners looking for a new website:
When it comes to website design, businesses have the right to be demanding because the competition is fierce. To make your website really stand out you and the designer have to put a lot of planning into it and be sure that the available options are right for you and your business. A good website designer will not get you an instant quote but will first find out which applications you really need. When you shop around for a website design company in Brisbane, make sure that every web developer gives you a quote based on those minimum required applications. You don’t want to be comparing apples to pears!
Also ask what additional services will cost, in case you need them later on.
If you find out later that that cheap website design company didn’t include an email marketing database, a picture gallery, uploading of your content, or suddenly charges you extra for a login form that you expected to have included, you are stuck.”
Your website needs to be associated with your brand in the first instance and really reflect your corporate image. By carefully crafting of your brand image, our website designers in Brisbane create websites that send the right message and look stunning at the same time. A well-designed website keeps your current customers faithful and converts prospects to buyers. Paying for a good ecommerce website that is custom made for your needs gives a speedy Return on Investment, while paying for a out-of-the-box website can end up costing you money.
Web designers that don’t help you with generating traffic to your website don’t have your best interest at heart. If you are looking for a web designer, ask about traffic solutions. Without techniques that can generate traffic, your website design does nothing to grow your business. Magik specialises in applications and digital solutions that drive traffic to your website. We have a range of engagement tools to choose from, depending on your budget and requirements. For example: Free downloadable Guides that generate leads, a handy Calculator that people will want to share, or a cool App that engages people all can boost traffic.
We also offer powerful search engine optimisation, implementing the latest methods to achieve high rankings for your site. At Magik we assist all our Brisbane and Queensland clients with traffic building and page rankings to make sure you get results. We are proud that our website designs rank so well in Google!
Make sure you website designer is testing the website on a variety of different browsers and versions to ensure your customers have the right experience no matter which platform they use. Also check the designer’s policy on providing service after the website has gone live.
Give your website the Magik touch!
At Magik we only make quality websites that are custom made for businesses. If you want a great looking website that performs the way you want it to perform, consult Magik New Media’s Brisbane website services.
View our Website Design portfolio to see what we can do!
In an earlier blog we explained the differences between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. In this blog our Magik SEO experts give away some great tips how you can implement both types of search engine optimisation in your website.
1. Find out what the best keywords are for your products and services and place those strategically on your website. Don’t overdo it though! If you are unsure about keyword analysis, consider asking an SEO expert for advice on which keywords are competitive in your market segment.
2. People have become Google-savvy and often improve the relevance of their search results by adding their location to their search phrase. So, to get found for: “your product/service” and “your location” (E.g. “SEO experts Brisbane”) you should repeatedly use that exact phrase on your website.
3. Google ranks your website higher if the content is unique. If you copied a lot of information on your website from another website, or if you are using the same text a lot across your pages, Google will actually punish you for that.
4. Add fresh content to you website regularly. Google loves fresh content! Consider adding a News page to the website or start a Blog about your industry or products/services.
5. Clean up your website’s source code and menu structure. You have to make it easy for Google spiders to crawl your website. The crawlers lose interest if your code doesn’t comply with the W3C standards and you will rank lower.
1. If your products or services have a lot of competition, aim your digital marketing directly at your local area. Not every competitor is in your neighbourhood, so register/advertise your location on various directory websites, local consumer review websites such as Yelp, and Google Places / Google Maps.
2. Find out in which online forums or media people are likely to discuss your main business or service. Participate in the discussion, answer questions if you can help out and tell people about what you do and how you can help them. Most important of all: Link to your website or online products every time you do that!
3. Try to get relevant websites or online directories to link to your website by emailing them about your website. You can return the favour by backlinking to them, as long as if you end up with more inbound links from regularly visited web sites than outgoing links. Google spiders will give quality links their tick of approval.
4. It’s free and it is fun, so we suggest using all those Social Media to your advantage: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Blogs… they can all help. Share your website’s URL by referring to it often on those platforms and use attractive images and content to grab people’s attention. You’ll find that people start to visit your website to see what it is all about.
5. Monitor and analyse your website’s traffic. Google Analytics is a free tool that can tell you exactly how many people visit your website, where they came from, which keywords they used to find you, and which pages they favoured. You can use all the information to modify the way your website targets people, which brings you back to your On-Page SEO efforts.
We realise that some of these tips can still be tricky if you don’t know much about websites and web traffic, but our Magik experts can help with this. From our office in Brisbane we offer SEO services to startups, small & medium businesses, and local organisations. If you don’t have the time to do all of the above, or just don’t know where to start, consider ordering one of our SEO Packages to get started with driving traffic to your website:
Talk to us if you want to give your website the Magik touch!
MagikSEO can help drive traffic to your website.
So, you smashed it. You have made this amazing website (or had it done for you), worked hours and hours on it and spent quite a bit of money getting it right. You are really excited to finally have an online presence for your business and can’t wait to get the first leads.
But then the next week nothing happens: The phone doesn’t ring, your inbox stays empty and there are no new orders. You end up googling your own services and find out that you don’t even show up in the search results… or at least not on the first 10 pages (which is like not showing up at all). No wonder that no potential customers and clients visit your website: They don’t know it is there and how awesome it is!
Launching a website and doing nothing about search engine optimisation (SEO) is like opening a new shop and telling nobody about it.”
These days it is not enough to just add the URL to all of your print work, business cards and email signature. Most people search for local businesses spontaneously, at the very moment that they need something. And almost everyone searches the web first these days. So, to rank high in Google or Yahoo should now become your top priority.
Lucky for you, there are a lot of basic SEO tricks that you can start with yourself (if you have full access of course, otherwise you have to ask your web developer).
If you don’t have the time or the patience to do it yourself, you can always outsource your SEO campaign. If you are interested in hiring experts to boost your website’s traffic, check out our Magik SEO Packages:
When deciding to get a new website, don’t overlook the importance of quality content. In fact, the heart of a website is in its copy.
No matter how great the design of a website is, quality web design is only a small part of a good online strategy. What users really want is information, useful content. Relevant website copy is what attracts people to a website in the first place, because they have probably googled something they need and found a link to your website. If they will stay depends on whether they can find what they need and if they like your online presentation. Grammatically correct and well-presented copy will portray you as industry leaders who know what they are talking about.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is another reason to go for quality web content. To rank higher in Google, your copy needs to be unique and diverse. Copywriting for SEO purposes means that the text is relevant, engaging, diverse and full of keywords that people use to find your business online. TIP: Never overdo it! If you stuff your text with mostly keywords, Google will think you are tricking their so-called crawler bots, the search mechanism which indexes websites, and your visitors will find it annoying!
Consider having a section on your website that can be updated regularly with ease. This can be in the form of a news or blog page about your industry and team, or simply by adding your existing press releases and business updates to your website on a regular basis. If you don’t have the know how, resources, or time to write optimised copy for your website, you can hire a copywriter to do it for you. Magik New Media offers a SEO Content Writing Service for those who rather use their valuable time to run their business and do what they are really good at.
Having a beautifully designed website is a good start to your online marketing campaign. However, having an effective website doesn’t necessarily mean a beautiful website. The definition of an effective website is a website that generates leads or sales for your business. What features do you have on your website to capture those leads that your business needs? What tactics are you using to entice your visitors to leave their details with you? Here are a few tips for you to consider when planning for your website.
To capture leads, your website needs to capture users first. The famous Krug’s philosophy on usability is Don’t Make Me Think. A website should be as obvious as it can be and it doesn’t confuse its users. Users often only spend a few seconds to determine whether they are going to stay or leave. The more they have to think the sooner they will leave. Place the most relevant content where it hits them first when they first see your website. Provide a well thought out navigation system so users can navigate through your website quickly and easily. Continue reading →