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14 Feb 2016

Gold Coast Web Agency Graphics Online in Liquidation

disaster-recovery-150x150One of the most important rules of establishing an excellent online presence is to get secure and reliable web hosting services. To make sure that your little corner of the Internet will survive no matter what, it’s important that you take caution when choosing your web hosting service provider. Gold Coast Agency Graphics Online recently dished up some challenges for their customers.

Worrells Move In on Web Agency Graphics Online

Recently, it has come to our attention that Graphics Online, one of the better known digital agencies and web hosting service providers on the Gold Coast, has gone into liquidation (see ASIC Notice). This unfortunate event was so sudden it sent the local industry buzzing, leaving many of their customers stranded. Nobody had expected that one of the well-established web agencies in the city would suddenly disappear just like that overnight.

Clients of Graphics Online received notifications from the company’s liquidator Worrells, that the content of their websites and/or other services hosted with the now defunct digital agency should now being moved to other web hosting service providers. If you’re a customer of Graphics Online and you have been affected by the company’s sudden demise, this indeed can be a very traumatic time for you. What if something goes wrong with your online assets in all this confusion? Who will be responsible for the potential loss of your valuable online data?

Digital Agency LiquidationsRecovering Your Website Site From Graphics Online

Nobody knows exactly what happened to Graphics Online that led to its liquidation. However, there have been reports that the company claims that it had been a victim of cyber attacks.

Cyber attacks are a known threat for everyone who has a website or any form of online presence, unless you have a serious security and backup plan in place. If you were a customer of Graphics Online, here’s how to recover from potential loss, and the team at Redback Web Solutions will help you all the way.

Step 1:

Firstly, it’s important to gain access to your hosting account, and your domain name. We know that Graphics Online outsourced their website hosting, so we will seek out the supplier and assist in accessing the data that is stored on the server.

Step 2:

We will contact the domain registrar and assist you in transferring the domain name to our registry so once again you will take control of your online assets.

Step 3:

Getting you site migrated is a tougher challenge. Graphics Online used a proprietary CMS (Content Management System) Called GoCMS. You can’t simply move the website to another server, as part of the data stays on the main server that’s required to run the site. This is one of the reasons we have always advised businesses never to use a Proprietary CMS system (see our blog article about Why You Should Avoid Bulk Hosting and Automated Websites). We recommend and build sites using WordPress, the world’s largest and most popular CMS which you can freely move at any time. Best of all it is open source – which means its free to the public. So step 3 is to open a new hosting account. We suggest a Premium WordPress Hosting account to make sure your security and backups are always maintained correctly.

Step 4:

Have your site or contents migrated to the new server. This may mean re-building the site or having new framework made available by way of a template. It may also be a good opportunity now (taking advantage of the disruption) to make sure that your site is mobile responsive (works perfectly on all devices) and is optimised for the Search Engines. This can certainly increase your presence on Google, in turn gaining you more customers from your site.

Why Redback Web Solutions – and how can we help you?

We have migrated a number of customers in the past from the Graphics Online GoCMS system, and we will make the process as stress free as we can for you. Our dedicated in-house team of experts are always here to help, and our first class data centre will never let you down.

Safe and Secure

Redback Web Solutions understand that not all cyber attacks can be avoided, so the best course of action is to stay vigilant and be prepared at all times. This is why we always make sure to use the latest server technology and firewalls to ensure the safety and security of our customers’ data. We also have powerful contingency measures in place, such as solid backups and data recovery systems, so we’ll know how to solve a problem instantly in case disaster strikes. This is one of the reasons why so many of Australia’s business trust us, and we’re the preferred supplier of the Small Business Association of Australia.

Australian Servers

Our client’s web sites are all hosted on our high speed Australian servers, and we provide 24/7 Australian support. Best of all we guarantee that your valuable data never leaves the shores of Australia and offer a 100% uptime guarantee.

Stable Company

Redback Web Solutions is a 100% Australian Owned Company, and has been servicing the industry for over 15 years. As one of the premier digital agencies in Australia, with offices in Melbourne, Brisbane, on the Gold Coast, Sydney, and Perth, we serve up a complete range of digital solutions that include not only hosting and website maintenance services, but web design, SEO and marketing as well. We are the one stop digital shop.

If you need web hosting services or to recover your site following the Liquidation of Graphics Online, you can trust and rely on us. Contact Us 24/7 on 1300 768 100 and we will get you back online and give you the peace of mind that you need.

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08 Dec 2015

Why You Should Not Use Proprietary Content Management Systems (CMS)

Why You Should Not Use Proprietary Content Management Systems (CMS)

These days, having a website is a must for all businesses. Regardless of whether you sell stuff online or if you only have a brick and mortar store, establishing an online presence is essential to the growth and development of your business. With a massive audience waiting for you online, you  don’t want to miss the perks of promoting and advertising your brand on the Internet.

If you’re planning to set up a website for your brand or business, it’s wise to avoid companies that offer off-shore hosting and automated websites on Proprietary Content Management Systems. Sure, using them may appear to have advantages, but there are many disadvantages that may hurt your business in the long term.

shopify

Shopify is one of today’s biggest online shop builders. Data showed that it is currently powering over 200,000 online shops in the different parts of the globe. While it is very flexible and offers visitors a clean and organised look, it has known weaknesses, too.

Can be expensive.

In addition to a monthly service fee, customers are required to pay up to a 2% transaction fee for their plans. Basically, it means that if you make a sale worth $100, you will pay an extra $2. Or if you earn $10,000, you will pay an extra $200. According to Shopify, the fee is intended to cover the technology and other expenses it takes them to power your sales.

You have to pay extra if you want to use certain apps

One of the things many business owners like about Shopify is that it offers them more than 1,100 apps that can help beef up the functionality of their sites. However, many of these apps are not free and if you want to use them, you will have to pay an additional monthly fee, which is not cheap to say the least. For example, equipping your Shopify store with Freshbooks, which is an accounting/booking software, will cost you USD $31.99 every month.

It can be challenging to customise your site

Customising your site via HTML and CSS is not as straight forward as when using other platforms. Perhaps one reason for this is that Shopify uses its own coding language called “Liquid.” If you want someone to help you modify your online store, it is very likely that you will have to hire a Shopify expert, which won’t be as affordable as hiring a normal programmer.

squarespace

Squarespace is basically a SaaS-based content management system. It is composed of a website builder, blogging platform, and hosting service.

Adding, dragging, and dropping Blocks are slightly buggy

Squarespace has its own basic website building components called Blocks, which include text, image, and slideshows. However, rearranging them can be quite a pain. If you want to re-organise content on your site, you have to be extra patient if you are using Squarespace.

Customising the style of your site can be overwhelming for some

One of the cons of using Squarespace for your site is that it has the Style Editor that allows you to customise anything and everything on your website without having the need to use coding. However, it can be a double-edge sword as the numerous styling and design options can overwhelm some users.

weebly

Weebly is a web-hosting service that has its own drag-and-drop website builder. As of August 2012, the company hosts more than 20 million websites with more than 1 million unique visitors every month.

Design templates could use some improvements.

One common complaint among Weebly users is that the design templates are too basic. If you want to use an advanced design for your website, you have to look elsewhere because according to the company, Weebly is all about keeping things very simple.

Template customisation options are limited.

When it comes to customising design templates, your options are limited, as well. You are allowed to change only the font styles and overall colour scheme for each template. This basically means that if you want to spice things up, like change the menu bar colour or adjust content width, you will have to modify the codes of the template.

Blog features could do better.

Another problem with Weebly is that it has yet to incorporate today’s latest blogging functions. Like the design templates it offers, the blogging tools are too basic. Some web experts even call them “primitive.”

wix

Wix is a cloud-based web development platform. Through their online drag and drop tools, you can create HTML5 websites and mobile sites.

Large advertisement on the free version

If you’re going to use Wix’s free website builder, be prepared to have a large and very prominent Wix logos and ads on the side and at the bottom of your website.

You can’t change your template

While Wix has many pre-made design templates you can choose from, you cannot change it later on once you’ve made your choice. If you want to change the look of your site, you have no choice but to rebuild it from scratch.

Not advisable for online merchants.

Another disadvantage of using Wix is that their platform is not suitable for building an online shop. It is because their e-commerce tools are not advanced enough to help you manage your store.

Off Shore Hosting Creates The Biggest Problems

All of the service providers above host your website and your data off shore. There are no guarantees that your privacy or your customer’s privacy are kept safe, and because of the large number of other sites resting on the same server, you open yourself up to hacks and malware attacks.

If you are an Australian Company, should be hosting your website on a quality Australian Server. This is your storefront to the world, so keep it safe.

Don’t Get Locked In with a Content Management System

Proprietary CMS (content management system) means that the platform has been developed and owned by the company and it is not open source (free to the public). Companies who operate on Proprietary CMS have the ability to hold your business to ransom. I recommend to steer clear of using any Proprietry based CMS, as you will never own your own website and will be forever paying a monthly rental fee. Worst yet – you will be unable to move your site away from this company.

WordPress is the world’s most popular platform, it’s free (open source), and you can move your website to any hosting provider that you choose at any time.

So if you truly want a safe and long term online asset for your business, and want to avoid problems and inconveniences, talk to us today about building you a WordPress site on our High Speed Australian Servers, with Premium WordPress Hosting. It will be much better value in the long term.

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08 Sep 2014

How to Budget for Your Free Giveaway

How Much to Budget for Your “Free” Giveaway

Everyone loves free, except for the people who must pay for it. That is the unwritten truth that exists behind any “free” marketing method or campaign. There is typically, though not always, a real cost in terms of time and expense.

So when you find yourself tempted to offer something for free, be sure to count the cost in each and every way you need to, in order to make sure your free content, bonus gift or other promotional product you chose to give is affordable. It’s time to take a hard look at the costs you’ll bear on the road to a freebie.

What types of “free” are we talking about here?

freebieThe most obvious places we see free work its way into our businesses is in the act of gathering email addresses. Offering a freebie is standard operating procedure, and will not be changing anytime soon. More often than not we are offered a free ebook, report, video series, e-course, webinar or email series in exchange for our email address and other contact information.

What you need to understand is that there are costs associated with the creation of these freebies. Let’s look at several of the actual hard costs you’ll have to deal with in the creation of your freebies.

  • Actually writing or otherwise creating the content – There is someone who is responsible for getting this done, and you’ll very likely need to pay them. There could also be ancillary costs that go along with this, like software or hardware to help produce your content.
  • Designing the marketing funnel pages – You can do this with software programs, but somebody has to understand how to do it, and that will take time, money and talent. Then there are web designers, and that can cost a bundle.
  • Marketing hard costs – You’ll need an email autoresponder company, webinar charges, and a way to deliver your freebie, whether it’s downloaded from your site or hosted elsewhere. Someone will need to set that up. Shipping and hard costs for physical products have to be considered too.
  • Advertising – You may want to advertise to get the best response possible, and definitely this costs time and money.

Using a freebie, or freemium content as people are referring to them these days, continues to be a great way to build a list or audience for your products and services. We just thought you should know you’ll need to count the cost of “free” when producing your freebie.

get in touch with the Marketing Gurus from Redback Web Solutions when you need to create your next Freebie. Ph: 1300 768 100

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08 Sep 2014

How to Rank Your Site in Google

What You Need to Do to Rank Your Site in Google

We are all after the same thing: to rank highly in the Google organic search results in an effort to enjoy the so-called “free” traffic that would flow from that.

Rank Your site In GoogleThat said, Google doesn’t make it easy on us, coming up with a search algorithm comprising more than 200 factors for ranking your pages. Wrapping your brain around all of these can be a full-time job, and there’s no guarantee they won’t change it tomorrow!

Still, we all want it, and need to know how to best optimise our pages for it. To that end, here’s 15 of the 200+ ranking factors you should try and implement on your site.

15 Google Ranking Factors

  1. Make sure your primary keyword is in the title tag – Google looks hard at this to discover your page is targeting.
  2. Lengthen your content – Studies are revealing that the top pages for any major keyword are in the 1000-1500 word count range.
  3. Faster page loading – The quicker your page loads the better. In today’s internet people just won’t wait on you.
  4. Primary keyword in your page URL – Another factor for helping determine relevance and page intent.
  5. Use visual content – Everyone is nuts about anything visual: videos, infographics, images, memes and more. Google ranks these highly, partially because they are so often shared.
  6. Be sure to link to authority sites – Having outbound links on your pages to authoritative sites, especially in your market, will help your own site reputation.
  7. Cultivate domain Trust – Google is high on ranking sites that are trusted. Developing Trustrank should be a high priority.
  8. Have clear Terms of service and Privacy Policies – A clear ranking factor, Google would like to see that you are concerned about these things.
  9. Links in the body of your text – Links in the body text count for more, and are very useful for site navigation in a relevant context.
  10. Build a natural link profile – Make sure you try and get links form reputable and relevant sources, and avoid buying links.
  11. Social signals – We live in a social world, and if your site is not being talked about or otherwise shared on social media, it’s a sign that no one really cares, and thus neither will Google!
  12. Make it relevant! – Google loves to see relevance in all its forms on your site, from content to backlinks.
  13. Too many ads – Cram in the ads, especially on your home page above the fold, and expect that you’ll be relegated to the outer limits of the search results.
  14. The age of your domain – Realise that older domains that have been around awhile are given more trust by Google.
  15. Post fresh content regularly – The Googlebot is fond of finding new content they can rank. Feed it regularly.

For more information about optimising your website to rank better in google, Contact us today for your free consultation. Ph: 1300 768 100

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01 Sep 2014

How to Use the New Google My Business

How You Can Effectively Use Google My Business

Recently we discovered the latest and greatest offering from the folks at Mountain View, otherwise known as Google. They’ve put together what they hope is a direct response to Facebook with Google My Business. Google My Business is imagined as a one-stop page for online merchants and brands to manage their various Google account and properties, which include search, maps, Google Analytics, Adwords, Hangouts and Google+. You can do many things under this one umbrella, including posting to Google pages, share events and images, connect with those in your circles and more. The key point here is that you only have to post once, and all relevant Google connected services are updated.

Google My BusinessGoogle says it’s working on transitioning all business accounts that are on Google+ or Places for Business, and you should see this very soon. They also have an Android app now, and the iPhone app will follow shortly.

So how will this one work?

https://www.redbackwebs.com.au/wp-admin/post.php?post=3536&action=trash&_wpnonce=78421a252c

The one clear advantage this platform will have is that all of your information is going to be centrally located, and can be populated to your Google properties with no effort on your part. In fact the first thing you notice when you log into Google My Business is your company’s information which has been taken from Google+, Places and Maps. You’ll be able to edit to update or change any information you find there.

Next up is the heart of the operation. On one simple screen you can access the following:

  • Google+ Share
  • Google Insights
  • Customer Reviews
  • Google Analytics
  • Hangouts

You can get to those functions from this screen and add content, manage review and even start a Hangout. The mobile version of Google My Business is sleek and very easy to navigate.

What does this mean for Google+?

For the most part it remains to be seen how this is going to all affect Google+. So far there doesn’t seem to be any net loss, and in fact many will profit from having the automation and organization readily available. Google does say that they are upgrading current users of Places for Business and the Google+ Dashboard to Google My Business. We’ll see if any more changes are around the corner. And lest you think that Google My Business is only for local businesses, Google states that anyone with a Google+ page for their particular brand or business will get in on the action too.

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01 Sep 2014

How to Create Social Media Posts That Get the Clicks

How to Create Social Media Posts That Get the Clicks

It can be very easy to fall into the big black hole of social media. By that I mean you spend tons of time and possibly money to run consistent, content filled social media posts, but still to your dismay, find that nobody is interacting with your posts, there is no substantial sharing going on, and worst of all, your links are not getting clicked on.

social_media_clicksThere are a few ways to escape the black hole of social postings, and we’re going to cover that right now.

3 Tips for optimising your social media for more clicks

Be sure to ask for Shares, Likes and Retweets – This is social media, people will respond to requests if they feel what they’re sharing has value. Did you catch that last part? It needs to be something of value they are sharing. Producing unique content that they haven’t seen in seventy-four other places is the key here. Asking then is a no-brainer, as it means they look great and feel good about sharing this with their audience.

Be sure to craft your call-to-action with care – Just because you stick a link on the page doesn’t mean anyone is going to click it. Provide them with a good reason and a need to do so. Make your calls to action benefit filled and problem solving. Also, be as specific as possible: “Access this today to get rid of your acne in 3 days!” works far better than a generic “Click here”.

Share your images – You can’t help but have seen the incredible growth of social networks that feature a lot of images, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. These sites are also extremely social sites as well as being image monsters. Your image could easily go viral among more than one site if you play your cards right. Make sure to take full advantage.

Do your part with asking for the shares, optimising your content, and getting to the point with your calls to action, and we’re sure you’ll see a lot more clicks in your social media.

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08 Mar 2014

Can I Get on the Page 1 of Google without a Website?

Historically , using the local paper or a business index was the right way to go when advertising a small business.

Brisbane SEOBut times have moved on seriously. Barely anybody uses paper directories any more to find your business, and the local paper isn’t just expensive, but really hit and miss (in contrast to what they guarantee). Your clients are using smartphones nowadays to find companies and services – more than they use PCs now – and they use them irrespective of whether they’re driving, dining, watching television or simply laying in bed. Regardless of whether you have got a presence across online directories, you have to make sure you have got a powerful web presence and are found in search.

When potential customers look for your services, they need be able to find you in one or two clicks. Google is the primary search site for over ninety percent of mobile or PC users globally and if your customers are searching for you on Google and cant find your business you are possibly losing plenty of sales.

So the question is, “Can I get on Page 1 of Google without a Website?”

These days online directories claim to have come up with the answer for that by saying they can get small businesses on the first page of Google without the need and cost of their own website and paying for Search Engine Optimisation. What they neglect to inform you is that in order to get improved exposure you need to pay for their premium services (which in most cases are far more expensive than a basic SEO package), but the main stumbling block is that the directories also showcase your competitors as well.

They are first and foremost promoting their own website, followed by a series of adverts from their highest paying customers to the lowest paying ones. Their highest get priority placement.

By having your own website, and own SEO – means YOU and only you control which of your competition show at the top of your web page. Of course – you wouldn’t want any competitors would you!

So to answer the question – Yes you could still show on Page 1 of Google without having a website, however it wouldn’t make very sound business sense. For the small investment that a quality Mobile Responsive Website can make, the returns to you business are very rewarding.

For more information on Search Engine Optimisation campaigns, Online Marketing Programs for your business or Website Design, contact Redback Web Solutions, Brisbane or the Gold Coast today on 1300 768 100

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30 Nov 2013

Understanding Google Analytics

Find out how many visitors your website is attracting and analyse their movements around your web pages with Google’s invaluable tracker Google Analytics.

 

Google AnalyticsWouldn’t it be great if you knew how many people were visiting your site every day? It would be even better to know which pages visitors were viewing, how long they spent reading each page and when they left your site. Using Google Analytics, you can find all this out free of charge. All you need is a Google account, which is also free. Analytics logs a small amount of information about the people that visit your site. It runs invisibly and, in most cases, has no effect on how fast your site loads or runs.

Go to www.google.com/analytics and sign in. if you don’t already have an account through a service such as Google Docs or Gmail; you need to sign up first. Once you are logged in, Google will give you a small piece of JavaScript code to include in your site. Simply paste the code somewhere on your home page; the side bar will do if you are using WordPress. Analytics takes a day to start reporting.

 

Log into Google Analytics

When you log into Analytics, you’ll see the Dashboard displayed prominently. The top graph shows the number of visitors per day. This is a useful number for telling, at a glance, whether traffic to your website is

rising or falling, but there’s a wealth of information besides this headline figure.

At the bottom right of the screen is the Content Overview, a useful panel that shows you which of the pages on your website are the most visited. This information can help you to figure out where you need to place advertising on your website for maximum effect. You can also give close attention to less frequently visited pages to try and determine what is wrong with them.

Google Analytics Navigation Bar

The navigation bar on the left is the best way to get around Google Analytics. For instance, click the Content, then Top Exit Pages. This view tells you which pages people looked at immediately before leaving your website. If you spot a pattern, you can check the page or pages sin question t o see if there’s anything obvious that might be causing people to leave. Perhaps you could add more links as a way to keep visitors interested for longer.

Traffic Sources is another helpful tool that can tell you which websites and search engines are directing traffic to your site. The search engine data is useful, as it tells you which keywords lead to your site, and how often they do so. This should help you optimise your website for search engines.

Finally, the Content tab has a small link called Site Overlay. This is one of Analytics’ best tricks. It launches your website, with Analytics data pasted over the top, giving you a visual impression of where people are clicking when they’re viewing your pages.

For help with Google Analytics, contact Redback Web Solutions on 1300 768 100

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22 Nov 2013

Bringing People Back To Your Website

Bring People BackA truly successful website relies on a steady growing base of repeat visitors. Here’s how to convince people to keep coming back!
You’ve published your website and the visitors are pouring in, but to make sure your website is a hit you must secure repeat readers. While the number of unique hits (different visitors) is the figure advertisers look for in a website, you’ll want people to keep coming back, whether you’re selling goods or services, hoping to make your name as a blogger or creating an informative site that offers up-to-the-minute news and information.
If you run a small business, a professional-looking website can help mask the fact that your products are produced in your shed. That doesn’t mean you should set out to mislead people, rather that you can gain their trust by providing valuable, accurate information. The way you conduct relationships with readers is important; its better for your site to have a friendly atmosphere rather than a hard sell. After all, its easier to sell to loyal customers than to acquire new ones.

Keep It Topical

If you’re a blogger, never forget that people search for newsworthy topics. During an election, for example, they’ll search for the names of the candidates involved. During big sporting events such as the Olympics or the World Cup, people search for the names of prominent performers, while the stars of new cinema releases are always a top search term on sites such as Google. If your readers get to know that they can count on you for the analysis of breaking stories, then they are most likely to make you their first stop whenever they come online.
The moral of this is to always keep your site updated. There is nothing more off putting than realising that the news item you are reading was updated 6 months previously when the whole point is to keep people informed. If people find you don’t update frequently, they simply wont bother coming back.
This brings us to consistency of quality. People often start their websites with the greatest of care and the best intentions, only to find a year in that it has lost its allure. Boring, out of date content is off putting – people wont return to your site if they’re uninspired by what they see.

Join the Club

People will be more likely to return to your site if they have an incentive. A good way to create one, particularly if you have nothing to sell, is to create a community on your site. This is easy if you’re building a site for a local club or church where people already know each other.
If you have a forum or host a blog, you should get people to register before they post comments. This small action allows them to continue to voice their opinions on your site.
Also if you gather their email addresses, you’ll be able to send out an email notifying them when your site has been updated.
Just make sure you have a strong privacy policy, so people know how many emails they’ll be receiving, and also that you wont give their addresses to anyone else.
And remember, badgering people with spam certainly wont entice them back.

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19 Nov 2013

Effective Online Marketing – Selecting What Works For Your Business.

How do you know if you have the Most Effective Online Marketing Strategy in Place?

Effective Online MarketingThe Vast selection of Online Marketing Packages available to your business can sometimes be very overwhelming.

Effective Online Marketing utilises campaigns including Search Engine Optimisation or SEO, Local Optimisation, Local Buzz Marketing, Online Reputation Management or Marketing, SMO or Social Media Optimisation, Pay Per Click Advertising, Google Remarketing, Email and SMS Campaigns and the list Goes On..

The video below outlines the different benefits of the major Online Marketing Campaigns, and explains how they fit together to provide your company with a Total Online Marketing Plan.

Effective Online Marketing Video

What is the Most Effective Online Marketing Strategy?

The most effective online marketing strategy is one that gives your business the best return on investment (ROI). Marketing should not break the budget, but rather be carefully planned to prove what is working. If your marketing strategy cant be measured – how do you know if it is working? How do you know that something else could have your phone ringing in a more cost effective way?

All Marketing Strategies implemented by Redback Web Solutions have full reports to back them up. After all – you need to be certain that your marketing dollar is being spent wisely.

To have a Truly Effective Online Marketing Strategy, you need to find the perfect blend of different campaigns that meet the needs and the budget of your business. Careful research needs to be undertaken before commencing a marketing campaign, otherwise you run the risk of blowing hard earned money.

Keywords need to be researched, and your competition carefully assessed, and then the different types of campaigns can be best designed to exactly target the result you desire. For Effective Online Marketing, its not just about throwing mud at a blanket and hoping that some of it will stick. Marketing needs to be carefully targeted to ensure you get the best return on your investment.

For the best advice on Effective Online Marketing for your Business, Contact Redback Web Solutions Today

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