My Face My Body My Soul has had a facelift

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My Face My Body My SoulOne of my favourite clients, the owner of My Face My Body My Soul in Glebe, doesn't believe in facelifts. Unless, of course, they are related to websites. I gave her site a mobile-friendly makeover last week so it can rank highly in Google, and wow, is it ranking! My client specialises in Oxygen Facials - the kind that Madonna raves about and as I have tested these facials with my client I can tell you they give instant visible and delightful results - and she is ranking on page 1 on searches for Oxygen Facials Glebe (which isn't surprising) and Oxygen Facials Sydney (which is very gratifying). I have spent a fair bit of time on SEO for this client and on other specific searches she wanted tailored she is also ranking on page 1 of Google. I do LIKE my clients; several have become friends, including the owner of My Face My Body My Soul. To be honest, I won't built a website for a client whose products and services I don't believe in. It's been a real pleasure to update this site; I am still tweaking a few design elements for her but ultimately it's the ranking on Google in a highly competitive market which counts towards her website success, her happiness with the site and my satisfaction at having done a great job for a client.

Our latest build – DSK Painting and Decorating

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DSK Painting and DecoratingDSK Painting and Decorating is based in Sydney's inner west and works across Sydney. Owner Daniel wanted a bright but professional site into which he could upload photos from his recent jobs and post testimonials from happy clients. We chose a clean theme that's optimised for mobile use and allows users to access all the important things from a very graphical home page. We can also recommend Daniel's painting services as we have used them… which is what led to us building a website for Daniel! Visit the site at - and ask Daniel for a quote if you need painting done around your home or office. He will give you a great price; mention you read about his site here.

Meet Jaaxy, the world’s most free keyword search tool

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JaaxyWe all know how hard it is to get Google rankings, especially if you're a small business owner or blogger trying to get noticed in the ever-growing web. I have a secret weapon for you: Jaaxy, which I believe is the world's best free keyword search tool. I've been using Jaaxy for a month now, taking advantage of the 30 free searches you get in the trial version. I was so impressed with it I've upgraded and am now using a paid version and revelling in the extra features. Knowing the competition that a keyword has in the search engines is the single most valuable piece of data that you can have. Without knowing how many websites are ranked for a keyword, you are rolling the dice. It’s why keyword tools in the past have never worked for you. Jaaxy can tell you how many people per month are searching for a specific keyword string, how many webpages actually feature that keyword string and much more - so you can analyse and tweak your keywords to get the edge on your competitors. It's extremely thorough. You can absolutely tailor your SEO on every blog post or page on your site. You may already have a plugin such as All in One SEO, which is great. Jaaxy is different to something such as All in One SEO. It's a research tool. A cloud-based service, it lets you save keyword lists, so if you want to promote your product or service you can save lists for each particular keyword string you want to discuss on your website. Onsite training is excellent; it's video-based and step by step to show you how to maximise your experience with the site. Head over to Jaaxy now to find out more.

Should you use a newsletter plugin or MailChimp?

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Next time you get newsletters from fellow small business owners, scroll down to the bottom and check what software was used to develop or send them. Increasingly, you'll find they are being developed and sent using MailChimp. Until the last few years sending an email marketing campaign was costly for micro business owners. It was a tool used mainly by larger SMEs and big business. You'd pay a setup fee, a monthly fee, a fee per email...  Along came MailChimp, which offers a free service. If you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers, right now you can send up to 12,000 emails a month. With MailChimp you can select from a range of templates which can be customised fairly easily to match your corporate look. The system will even visit your website and grab your colour scheme. You can customise the code further to create a truly unique template, too. For the beginner, a few clicks will provide you with a smart-looking template which complements your website and branding. Read More
AAIC 2013

Websites: Africa Australia Infrastructure Conference 2013

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We have been working with OctoberFirst Consulting for several years now, and assisted with web development, marketing and promotion for last year's inaugural Africa Australia Infrastructure Conference. Getting a new international conference off the ground is always a challenge, and the hard work paid off, with the Conference a success and plenty of interest from sponsors and speakers for this year's event. This year the website we have developed has a new face and a streamlined booking system. We are assisting with conference management too for the 2013 conference, and look foward to a lively and multicultural event.

WordPress sites are vulnerable to new hacker attacks. Is yours secure?

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Over the last week WordPress sites worldwide have been attacked by hackers. So what? you may say. We all know hackers are busy 24/7 trying to cause havoc. But this time it's a biggun. Apparently a botnet of tens of thousands of computers has been busily squirrelling away at any WP site using 'admin' as the login username. Here's what the BBC's website has to say: 'The botnet targets WordPress users with the username "admin", trying thousands of possible passwords. The attack began a week after WordPress beefed up its security with an optional two-step authentication log-in option. The site currently powers 64m websites read by 371m people each month. According to survey website W3Techs, around 17% of the world's websites are powered by WordPress.' So your first step, therefore, is to change your username. Now. (Any WP sites I set up, by the way, don't use 'admin' as the username. It's just too obvious.) You should also update to the latest version of WordPress (remember to back up first!) and use the optional two-step authentication with a secret number. Yes, it's one more thing to remember but a darned sight easier than rebuilding your website. Next, install a plugin such as Better WP Security. I also recommend installing your website in a separate folder on your server rather than in the root folder. Just don't call the folder WordPress or Website! If you want help beefing up the security on your site, please do get in touch with me so I can help you ward off hackers.

Why websites are still relevant as a means to advertise your company

Posted by | Marketing, Services, Social Media, Websites | No Comments
I read a great article on the Smart Company website this morning. Author Craig Reardon argued the case for the ongoing existence of websites as marketing tools amid the wash of social media and sexy apps. Websites, he said, provided excellent opportunities for promoting a call to action within a marketing campaign. And unlike social media sites, where you are constrained by the design confines provided by those sites, on your own website you can do as you wish with the size of your advertising campaign images and the associated copy. Yes, social media is undoubtedly a necessary tool for most businesses these days, especially if you are engaging Gen X and young adults. But don't discount the value of your website, and keeping it up to date and relevant. Don't throw all your advertising into social media and leave your website looking stale. So, think about this. How can you use your website better? Can you offer your clients an online booking service via your website? Can you offer your clients something special if they jump onto your site after finding you on social media? (For example, you have a special landing page for these visitors and you might offer them something for nothing or a 5% or 10% discount on your services only available by visiting that page.) If you sell products via a traditional shop, why not also put a shopfront on your website so people who can't make it to your shop can buy from your site? It's not expensive in the big scheme of things - we can develop and integrate a shopfront from as little as $500 on top of your ordinary website, and that includes your SSL certificate - and your business then becomes national or international... wherever you want to take it, essentially. Websites will stay an integral part of marketing for years to come; they can provide a more in-depth look at what you do than social media does, but both options work hand in hand to promote your business. Chat to us about how we can help you promote an integrated look and feel across your social media and website, and how campaigns could work for you.

Websites: RydeNFly

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Our latest build is for new kid on the block in the airport shuttle business, Frank Di Palma of RydeNFly. Frank's shuttle service covers Sydney's northern districts, taking passengers to and from Sydney Airport, Darling Harbour and the CBD. The immaculate new 14 seater bus is also available for charter. Frank's brief was that he wanted a small and simple site, with the ability to take shuttle bookings. Like his bus, he wanted it clean and crisp. Frank is delighted with his site, and tells us the booking forms work a treat; he gets instant emails on his smart phone. Oh, and the site has, like any modern site should, a mobile version for execs on the go wanting to book a shuttle. Visit
It's About Time Fitness

Websites: It’s About Time Fitness

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Our newest client Helen James of It's About Time Fitness is delighted with her new website which we completed this week. Helen works mainly with mature women over forty who want to get fit but for whatever reason don't like traditional gyms and fitness centres, and offers personal training and group fitness in the great outdoors - namely in a gorgeous park in Sydney's inner west. She wanted a clean and simple design that would work with her corporate blue and pink colours. Helen is going to use the site not just as a business card but as a blog too with regular health and fitness tips. In the back end we have all the features she needs including anti-spam measures, captcha on forms, caching to enhance performance, one-click backup and more. When her social media accounts are up and running we'll be adding those too. In the meantime we're working on her SEO. If you'd like a gorgeous site like this one, do contact us!

The name says it all – why your blog posts need good titles

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Free beer! It's an attention grabber, isn't it? What if you clicked on a blog post with the title Free beer! and found that it didn't mention beer at all, let alone free beer? You'd feel disappointed. What a waste of fifteen seconds of your life scanning a blog post to find out more about that non-existent free beer. It's vitally important that your blog posts have titles relevant to the content of the post itself, and that the title isn't too long. Keeping your title under about 40 characters is ideal. That way the entire title will appear in search results. The last thing you want is the latter half of your blog title missing in action from google. And use keywords in your post name. If your blog post is about a comparison of camera bags under $200, then 'camera bags' 'under $200' and 'comparison' are key words - as some of the major brands you talk about will be. So your blog post name could be: Comparison of camera bags under $200. That helps mightily for someone searching for a comparison of camera bags costing less than $200. It's far more effective than merely titling your post Camera Bags or Here's what you should be reading right now if you are looking for a camera bag that costs less than $200. Of course you should be using keywords in your blog post body too but that is another blog post... stay tuned for that one. Take your time to consider an appropriate title for your blog post. Grab attention with it by all means but make sure it's relevant to the post itself and does contain keywords. If in doubt, and you're a WordPress blogger, subscribe to the Scribe SEO Content Optimizer software, which will look at your title and post, recommend keywords and where you should make changes.