Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Just Launched

Newbiz Solutions have just launched the new website for o2media, a marketing and public relations company that are excelling in their field. The project included website development, including social media integration and contact forms. This website can be found at www.o2media.com.au and is worth checking out!



Newbiz Solutions have also just launched the brand new new website for Fettle Fitness and Wellbeing. Fettle is a fresh, new business that has been founded by young Personal Trainer and Well-Being Coach, Tracie Kaye. This project included logo design, website design, website development, blog integration, and social media integration. Check out the site yourself at www.fettlefitness.com.au.  



Monday, May 27, 2013

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea

The Newbiz team got together last week to participate in Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea and to raise much needed funds for cancer research. This is our second year hosting a morning tea and we would like to thank our wonderful staff and friends who came along and supported us. A big thank you also to the girls at the Lekker Byte Cafe who kindly let us borrow a table for the morning and who placed our donation tin on their counter for a few weeks.

As you can see from the spread, our office knows how to feast in style, and everyone was more than generous in bringing along a plate to share and donating to this very worthy cause. We had a great time feasting, catching up with family and friends and having fun in the name of cancer research.

After adding up our donations from our donation tin we had here at The Greenhill Enterprise Centre, we have reached our goal and raised just over $250 for the Cancer Council. Thank you for everyone who donated to such a great cause, you're the best! I loved organising this event for our office. Looking forward to next years one!


 






Thursday, May 23, 2013

What are landing pages and how can they transform your approach to online advertising and website design?


Landing pages within website design are a critical step to the success of any website yet they are often overlooked by business owners, marketers, designers and web developers as a whole.

Below I will discuss what a landing page is, why you need landing pages and how they can help your business.

What is a landing page?
A landing page is essentially a website page specific to your product or service (sometimes referred to as a lead capture page). It highlights your offer and has a clear call to action. It is generally a key product or service and is designed to specifically give the audience direction and drive them to fill out a form, download a file, sign up to a newsletter or even pick up the phone.

A landing page is importantly, specific to the requirements of your business, and your clients.

Why do I need landing pages?
Let’s put together a little scenario. A potential customer is searching for one of your products or services. Lets say they do a Google Search for ‘Apple iPad Mini’. What results would you expect to see? 

Ideally you would like to see your business appear. But let’s take this concept further. Lets say you would like your business to appear but the page that appears on Google is specific to the search term ‘Apple iPad Mini’. In effect a specific page created for searches or customers looking for this product or service.

A customer has found the information they are after and they click on the result. The key difference here between a landing page and a normal website is that the customer is taken directly to a page about your product or service. In this case a page on the Apple iPad Mini. Not the website's home page which is crowded with information.

Landing pages can be found through Google searches, online advertising or direct links from a press ad or a television commercial. They form an integral part of online marketing and your business needs landing pages to achieve the same results as the example set out above. But what happens when a users gets to this page; we look at how a landing page can help your business below.

How can a landing page help my business?
As we head into a truly digital era most business owners and managers understand we need to look at a website with a fresh and open mind. We should not be treating a website purely as a brochure site containing information to our business. This is where a landing page can help your business. 

After driving traffic to your landing page we are looking to pass on information about your product or service in a clear and concise way. We will then have a clear call to action such as filling out a form, purchasing a product or signing up to a newsletter. These are what digital marketers will refer to as conversions. Essentially something they can record, a statistic they can measure and an outcome for your business.

The thing about landing pages is you are probably already touching on the basic concept through your existing website. But the key is making sure it all works cohesively and is measurable. Once a customer has filled out a form, made contact with your business or organisation you now have the ability to follow up this lead.

You will benefit from increased conversions (more enquiries), an informed customer, higher traffic, more sales, better search results and information on what is working and importantly what is not working.

In Summary
A landing page is a must have. We can explore this further but this article is simply intended to get you thinking about different ways to approach your next website or ways you can get one step ahead of your competitors.

By Mark Wall, Senior Graphic Designer at Newbiz Solutions

Monday, May 13, 2013

How to keep your online business information secure

On the 23rd of April 2013 the Associated Press Twitter account @AP was hijacked and a tweet saying “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured” was published. Immediately after the tweet was published it started to receive attention. The @AP account has roughly 1.9 million followers and is a trusted verified account meaning whatever is tweeted is treated as gospel and usually aggregated by other publishers fairly quickly.

The tweet caused panic, high profile calls were made, media outlets began to publish and the general public did the only thing they know how – they liquidated their stocks – causing the stock market to fall.

That day the Dow Jones dropped by around 150 points – which equates to around $134.2 billion (136.5 USD) – all because of a single tweet. After the mess was cleared up and the stock market recovered, industry experts took a long hard look at Twitter and have started pressuring them to look into better security for their users accounts.

Do you have the same risks? 

Count up your online accounts that you use;
1.   Facebook
2.   Google (Gmail, Google Drive)
3.   Apple (App Store)
4.   Hotmail
5.   Online Banking

What would happen if you lost access to one of these accounts because your password was hijacked like the Associated Press. What would you lose? What damage could it cause to your person or brand?

The average password is 8 characters long; this is all that protects you from losing access to any one of your online accounts. If you are using the same password for all accounts then you've just increased your risk. You need to better secure your accounts, and the good news is it’s very easy to do.

Two-factor authentication 

Two-­factor authentication is the answer to better security – also known as token-­based security. It is an approach that requires two authentication items, in this case something that the user knows – their password – and something that the user has – their mobile phone.

The accounts listed above all have the same thing in common; they offer a form
of two-­‐factor authentication.

•  Facebook has integrated with a web sms (http://smscentral.com.au) gateway to introduce unique passwords sent via SMS upon login of an unrecognized device.
•  Google offers a range of tools including Google Authenticator (Smartphone App), Voice or SMS options.
•  Microsoft offers one time passwords delivered by SMS or Email
•  Apple has two-­‐factor authentication built directly into their iPhones
•  Online banks such as Commonwealth and Westpac offer one-­‐time SMS passwords – other banks offer other tools such as SecurID RSA tokens.

I recently ran through a scenario of what would happen if I lost access to my Google account due to a hijack. It would be a disaster. Have you ever clicked on a “Forgot your password link” what happens when you do – the website sends an email to the registered account and asks you to reset your password. The hacker of my account could search through my emails and find out what communities or online accounts I have registered through my email. They could reset each of my passwords and block my access to any online account I use.

My online social accounts, my business website and my company assets could all be at risk. My brand would suffer enormously; my reputation would be lost and the damage would be irreversible.

My identity would be stolen in a simple hijack of an eight-­‐letter password.

Protecting your assets is important; from your personal email account to your corporate bank account additional security is always beneficial and can save you from losing everything.

Based on the activity in April Twitter should be releasing two-­factor authentication to their users shortly, it might be in the form of an SMS password, or a smartphone application. Once released users will most likely have to opt-­in to the authentication setting to enable it on their account. Which means a large percentage of users won’t make the change, as they don't see the dangers.

Don't be one of the users that loses and account through easy­‐to‐fix security holes. Enable the extra security settings now. There are plenty of resources online explaining how to enable two-­factor authentication on your favorite online accounts. ­I recommend you enable them now before your account is lost for good.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Twitter chooses Drupal for their official blog


At the beginning of this month Twitter announced that they had re-launched their blog on Drupal. Twitter have used Drupal for their developer site for sometime and their blog was previously run on Google's blogger platform. Not only was this great news for Drupal as a platform and as a community, but it was great news for us here at Newbiz Solutions as we believe Drupal is the superior open source content management platform for developing content rich website and other web applications.

Drupal is growing at amazing rate and it powers some of the busiest sites on the web. There are now millions of sites using drupal including high profile sites such as IKEA,The White House, Fedex, Harvard University, MTV, The United Nations, Amnesty International and Warner Bros.

Drupal is the content management platform of choice at Newbiz Solutions as it offers the flexibility and extensibility to satisfy a wide variety of client requirements. Drupal is an open-source content management platform that can be customised to include the following functionality and integration with:

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) - numerous configuration options, such as human- readable URLs, customisable page titles, meta tags
  • Web Analytics - Integration with Google Analytics
  • Ecommerce - Online stores and shopping cart sites
  • Social - User registration, user accounts, website memberships, social media platform integration, polls/voting, blogs, forums and social commenting & reviews
  • Search - Customisable search and search results
  • Flexible Content - Endless number of content types to make website updates a breeze
  • Content Organisation - Content tagging for improved information architecture
  • Lead Generation - Contact forms and integration with CRM and marketing automation systems
  • Mapping - Google Maps Integration
  • Content Syndication - Newsfeeds, RSS and subscription

Drupal vs WordPress vs Joomla

Choosing Drupal is your first step to achieving a solid web based content management platform upon which to build your web application. When properly maintained and updated consistently to ensure you are running the latest and most secure version, Drupal has been proven to be extremely secure and reliable; backed up by the large government and private organisations that have chosen Drupal vs WordPress or Joomla.

Newbiz Solutions works with businesses and organizations to plan, produce, launch and support Drupal websites. Some recent sites we have developed using the platform are:

Central Highlands Water - chw.net.au


Cancer Australia - canceraustralia.gov.au

Drupal is not just a piece of software, it represents a growing community of real people who have a passion for the web. The Open Source community (of which Drupal plays a big role) is always working to make the web open and accessible for all. So for a web based giant such as Twitter to choose Drupal as the platform of choice for its developer site and blog shows that Open Source software really has come of age and is winning the battle against proprietary solutions. So thank you Twitter. Thank you for supporting Drupal and the Open Web. We support this great move!  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Site Security for Small Business - Why Should You Care?

Security threats and attacks on corporate networks and government websites have become more persistent recently. These so called Advanced Persistent Threats or APTs are usually sophisticated and target millions of dollars worth of Intellectual Property (IP), sensitive and competitive business data and classified government information. But how real is the risk to small businesses? Should they really care?

The short answer is: as distant as the threat may seem, it helps to be safe. The rise in popularity of Open Source and other knowledge sharing forums on the Internet has made the threat of attacks on small businesses websites not so distant. This means that relatively unskilled but adventurous juveniles suddenly have the means to deface or compromise their somewhat insecure local Dry Cleaners’ website with very little effort. The amount of ‘hacking’ information available online for these ‘script kiddies’ is a real threat to small businesses with websites and online services. Unfortunately, this information is enough to cause sufficient amounts of dollars worth of damages to small businesses’ online infrastructure. A 2010 survey in New York reported that almost 500 of 1000 New York teenagers thought hacking was cool and that 17% of them had tried it on some random site. In the UK, the Association of Chief Police Officers reported that 32% of uni students thought hacking was cool and that 23% had hacked into computer systems. These amateur hackers are usually ignorant of the repercussions of their mischief and rarely understand what these hacks actually do to the systems they target. And so the fact is that the risk to the relatively dated small business website is as real as it can get.

So what can small businesses do? Well, for starters, it is worth getting the site audited for security vulnerabilities. Security vulnerability audits for small websites are not as costly and are surely worth the peace of mind. If a site is more than 10 years old, it may be worth investing in a new website. This will not only be a security boost but will help freshen the digital appeal of the business and possibly improve sales. If one decides on getting a new website, it is advisable that one seeks security conscious web developers who will guarantee a vulnerability tested site or recommend a third party security tester. As usual, small businesses are advised to select a web developer with a digital strategy, who understands the business value of a website and appreciates the need for a secure and robust application.

By Oarabile Omaru 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

1 easy step that can help you increase your Google Adwords Conversions without spending a dollar more

It is a common misunderstanding that you need to spend more on your Google Adwords account in order to out rank your competitors. We naturally assume that by increasing the amount we spend (maximum cost per click) on our Google Ads we are moving into the number one position on Google.

Without getting too technical this is certainly one aspect of the process but relevance or quality play a vital role in where your ads appear and can drastically help you increase your conversions without spending a dollar more.

Quality Score, simply put, is how useful your online advertisements are to their users. For example a quality score of 6 out of 10 can be improved by making it a 7 out of 10.

If a potential customer searches for a term ‘Wedding Photography Sydney’ the relevance of your ad should reflect this query. As an example I would consider the heading of your advertisement to read ‘Wedding Photographer Sydney’ with reference to your service area instead of the common ‘Wedding Photographer’ heading.

Taking this to the next level would be having the advertisement click through to the relevant ‘Wedding Photographer Sydney’ page on your website highlighting a specific mention to your service area.

Keep in mind that quality score and how much you are bidding work together. A good quality score and a good budget will naturally help your position and conversions.

One of the greatest things about Google Adwords is its ability to work for both small and large businesses. I encourage you to review your quality scores and turn a relevance of 6/10 to a 7/10, take a small step and don't spend a dollar more for great results.

Good luck with your online advertising!

By Mark Wall, Senior Graphic Designer at Newbiz Solutions