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Bam Creative

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About Bam Creative

Working from the heart of Northbridge, we've been creating websites and digital marketing strategies for businesses Australia-wide since 2002.

Started by Miles Burke, Bam Creative is built on strong foundations and has cultivated a team of like-minded people who are passionate about what they do.

Our secret is making your success our success. We firmly believe our role is to give our clients the tools to achieve the goals they have set out for their business through a mix of innovative and effective digital marketing, and clean and responsive web design and development.

Team size 5-10
Locations Perth | WA
Contacts Miles Burke
[email protected]
(08) 9228 2233
Website www.bam.com.au
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Showcase

A selection of works by another talented AWIA member.

Baked 180

The Brief

Baked 180, despite being Perth’s favourite cupcake bakery, previously only took orders by enquiry and manually processed payment. They came to Bam Creative for help in streamlining their online workflow, automating their order scheduling, and offering online payments with instant confirmation.

Online orders already made up a large percentage of Baked 180’s sales. It was essential that the website stood up to the growing needs of their business.

The Solution

We wanted to highlight Baked 180’s scrumptious cupcakes and let the baked goods do the talking. With high-quality photos of each cupcake on sale, we whipped together a simple design with just the right amount of sprinkles to give it some flare.

Read More!

News Items

Latest news from this AWIA member.

The Essential Guide to Social Media Monitoring

Heard the phrase 'fly on the wall'? Imagine hearing what people are saying about your brand. Using social media monitoring, you can! This article explains.

Regardless if you want them to or not, people are out there talking about you. Your brand, services and products are being reviewed or discussed. People may be delighted, they may be complaining, they could be recommending. How do you know what’s being said? That’s where social media monitoring comes into the equation.

In this guide, I’ll take you through what social media monitoring is, how it benefits you, what features to look out for and more. I trust you’ll enjoy the read!

According to this report by Reportal, there were 20.50 million social media users in Australia in January 2021, this equates to 79.9% of the total population of Australia. You would be crazy if your organisation doesn’t at least have a basic presence on the major social media platforms.

It’s one thing posting content occasionally, yet quite another to actually be listening to the audience out there. That’s why social media monitoring really is so important.

What is social media monitoring?

To distil it down to one sentence, social media monitoring is the act of tracking mentions and discussions around specific words or phrases on social media.

These words or phrases could be your brand name, your business name, products, main staff names or more.

When your customers or potential customers talk about your organisation, they won’t always tag you or reply to one of your posts. Unless you literally go looking for these mentions, you wouldn’t know they exist.

Social media monitoring is crucial for organisations, because it allows you to understand what is being said, and in most cases empowers you to be able to reply. This means you can then leverage these discussions, and create opportunities from them. It could mean making a sale, thanking a customer or being able to reply to a complaint.

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Why should we be listening?

Let me put it this way. You’ve gone to a very large business conference. There’s a group of people on the very other side of the room from you. They’re discussing your products and services. Maybe there’s a detractor there, saying they know someone better than your organisation.

Wouldn’t you love an opportunity to not only hear their opinions, but also be able to join in and respond? Of course you would! That’s why, as part of your digital marketing strategy, you need to be monitoring Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube... the list goes on.

In many situations, you can manually monitor specific platforms. For example, you can go to Twitter search and just type your business name in. However, do you have time to do that every day? And with 20 different phrases? I doubt it.

That’s why specific social media monitoring tools have been created - to help you and I keep on top of the conversations. Using these software products means that you can gauge the sentiment of your existing and potential customers. Not only that, you can keep an ear out on your competitors customers too.

For example, let’s say you sell widgets, and the other business who sells them has had trouble recently with their large widgets. You could chime in and suggest to their customers that they try your widgets out next time.

It could be someone just asking “Who sells good widgets?”. You could answer that within hours, and show them how responsive you are.

Social media monitoring and the subsequent replying like this helps you position your brand as being more attentive and responsive to the needs of your customers. Respond with a little sense of humour or fun, and you are creating a tone that encourages dialogue.

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Benefits of social media monitoring

There are many benefits to social media monitoring, some of which I have already mentioned. The main benefits are;

Measure your PR and marketing effectiveness

Have a new campaign out? Keep an eye on what people are saying about it, and measure the effectiveness and audience sentiment with social media monitoring.

Learn what customers want

Imagine knowing that some people wish your product was available in red, or that you had a service that did X and Y? Social media users can be saying that, and you’d know if you were listening to them.

Build strong connections with your customers

Ever had a brand reply when you discuss them on social media? I have, a few times, and it always makes me feel like I have a connection with that brand. It’s true, it really works.

This study found that 78% of consumers want brands to use social media to help people connect with each other. Many studies have shown that consumers love to be engaged by their favourite brands.

Find user generated content

The only photo better than a photo you’ve taken of your product, is when a customer takes one of your products in the real world. You can find opportunities to thank creators for sharing content about you, as well as possibly sharing that content yourself, using social listing software.

Discover and connect with influencers

It is very likely that hundreds, if not thousands, of people out there are experts at whatever you do. They are not only experts, but they are building up their own personal audience. Imagine being able to find them and engage with them on social media? It’s all possible with the right approach.

Get insights into competitors

It seems a little sneaky, doesn’t it? Add your competitors names in, and see what people are saying about them. Imagine you notice a trend that people are asking a competitor for a specific feature, that you either already have or could build into your product? Let them know how you can help!

Helps with content creation

Have you been tasked with coming up with new blog topics to write about? Listening to social media can really help in this. Imagine knowing that your customers want to know how to use your product to do X. That could be a great topic to write about.

Allows you to respond to complaints

None of us like admitting that people complain about our brands or service, however it’s pretty much a given that at some point, a customer will. Wouldn’t you rather know about it, so you can address it and turn them into a brand fan?

Monitor your employee sentiment

If you’ve got a large team, there’s a reasonable chance they could be speaking publicly about your organisation. Take a national retailer for example; with thousands of casual and part time workers, surely some are talking about their employers at some regularity.

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Social media monitoring report
Social media monitoring report


How to choose the right monitoring tool

There are a plethora of tools out there, both free and paid, that can enable you to listen to various social media platforms for mentions of specific phrases or words.

The dilemma for you comes down to which software will do the best job for you, within whatever budget you allocate to it.

Many beginners start by using free social media monitoring tools that have very basic features, however give you an insight into the workflow of monitoring. From there, an increasing number of people then start upgrading to paid social media monitoring tools that have far greater features and complexities.

Most of these paid tools also have some free trial, either by features, so the free plan comes with limited features, or by time, the standard 14 or 30 days trial period model.

Some of the features you should be looking out for, depending on their importance to you, are;

What social platforms will be monitored

Where are your potential and existing customers? It is pointless monitoring Twitter for example, if nobody in your field uses it. You want to choose a tool that monitors the social media platforms that your customers and industry use.

Some of the tools listed below go far beyond social media too. They include monitoring email newsletter content, videos, travel websites, forums, blogs and more.

Single or team access to the tool

Will it only be you accessing the software, or will you want the whole marketing team to have access? Are there additional costs per user in this case?

Quality and ease of use of the user interface

The software may be the bees knees, however if it is very complex to use, and painfully slow, then it doesn’t do much justice. Check their interfaces, and find one that suits you and your workflow.

Overall cost

There will be a monthly or annual cost of licensing, and depending on the tool, some may charge for extra reports or users, etc. Add everything up to get a true sense of the cost before you commit. Tip: often, annual plans work out cheaper per month, than simply month to month.

Reporting or real time alerts

What alerts do you get, and how? If your organisation is prone to crisis situations, then having an email once a month will not help you in the thick of a possible PR disaster. You need SMS or instant messaging in that case. Choose a tool that offers the right level of reporting and alerts for your predicted situations.

Support

Take a look at the support options available. Are they just email support within 3 days, or do you have access to a phone number or dedicated account specialist? You should feel comfortable knowing that support is there should you require it.

Other features

Are there any other features that really matter to you? If so, what are they, and which of your shortlist products have them? Can you live without them?

There are so many of these tools out there nowadays, it may be a challenge to find one that suits your requirements. To help, I’ve included links to ten social media monitoring products below.

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Free and paid monitoring tools to try

There are many social media monitoring tools out there, from simple one platform tools, to software that runs into hundreds of dollars per month, however provides incredible detail.

The challenge for you is to find one that works for your requirements, and gives you the monitoring and insights that you need.

Rather than give you one or two to pick from, here’s our list of ten popular social media monitoring tools that we are most familiar with.

Free tools

Good monitoring software that’s accessible for free is hard to come by, but not entirely impossible. Whilst some of the paid products below have free plans as well, here are three monitoring tools that are 100% free, in alphabetical order.

Google Alerts

https://www.google.com.au/alerts

Platforms monitored: The web, generally.

Social Mention

http://www.socialmention.com/

Platforms monitored: 100+ platforms including: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google.

TweetDeck

https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/

Platforms monitored: Twitter

Paid tools

Here’s an alphabetical list of seven popular paid monitoring products. Compare this software on the features above, and be sure to do your research on what works best for your organisation.

Buffer

https://buffer.com/

Platforms monitored: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Price: from US$5

Falcon.io

https://www.falcon.io/

Platforms monitored: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Price: from US$129

Hootsuite

https://www.hootsuite.com/

Platforms monitored: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Price: from US$69

Media Toolkit

https://www.mediatoolkit.com/

Platforms monitored: Websites, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, VKontakte, Tripadvisor, Forums and Blogs.

Price: from US$444

Mention

https://mention.com/en/

Platforms monitored: Websites, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Forums and Blogs.

Price: from US$25

Sprout Social

https://sproutsocial.com/

Platforms monitored: Websites, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and YouTube.

Price: from US$99

Tailwind

https://www.tailwindapp.com/

Platforms monitored: Instagram and Pinterest.

Price: from US$15

I am positive one of the tools above will fit your requirements. 

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Topics and phrases to listen for

Once you have signed up for a free trial, or purchased a license or plan, the next step is to choose what phrases or words you should be monitoring.

Depending on the tool, some tools may have limits per report or month in the amount of alerts, and you also don’t want pages and pages of alerts, so be careful not to be too broad or generic.

For example, if you are an accountant, monitoring social media for the phrase “book keeping” is going to produce thousands of results, which is useless. On the flipside, monitoring for your exact business name may not produce results very often, either.

Depending on what limits your software has, I recommend you try monitoring for phrases and words, such as;

  • Your brand name
  • Your product names
  • Your industry
  • Names of the most visible members of your team
  • Your competitors names
  • Frequently used industry terms
  • Your services by name
  • Common misspellings
  • Specific current affairs or news

Once you start collecting the data, you can then make further edits, to keep it at a manageable level that is actually useful for you.

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In Summary

Managing a business or a brand means juggling 101 things at any time. Embracing social media monitoring to help you keep abreast of what people are saying about you, your industry and your competitors is vital.

As I opened this article with, there are people talking about you right now, whether you like it or not. Any great business should be keeping an ear on social media, so they can better earn and engage and join the conversation. Good luck!

6 Proven Methods to Improve Management Skills

It is super important for anyone in a leadership role to always be looking for ways to improve management skills for themselves, and those around them. We share six proven ways to do just that.

Managers are not only responsible for the work they do, they are responsible for other people as well. Some of the skills required to be an effective manager are taught in school, others are learned from research or years of working at a job.

However, just like software needs an update or becomes obsolete, management skills need to be updated and improved in order to catch up with the changes in the workplace.

This article discusses six ways to improve management skills.

Develop emotional intelligence

High emotional intelligence leads to improved communication, self-awareness and an understanding of other people. It leads to improved compassion for team members and improved team performance. Take an example of a previously punctual employee who suddenly starts to show up late.

Without emotional intelligence, a manager might resort to a stern talking to. Emotional intelligence however will dictate that the situation is approached with curiosity, patience and compassion.

High emotional intelligence also leads to better self-control as a manger doesn’t respond to every impulse. They are able to wait to cool down before addressing a difficult situation for instance. This can be an asset when it comes to decision making and can improve the work environment for everyone.

Try the following to improve emotional intelligence:

  • Do a self-evaluation to determine your weak and strong points
  • Ask for feedback about your conduct from trusted colleagues and friends and receive it with humility
  • Observe how you communicate and how you react in negative and positive situations. Examine how this might affect others.

Be consistent

Consistency improves management skills in two ways; first it sets a standard for the way things should be done in the work place. Productivity is improved when everyone knows the processes they need to follow to get the job done. In some professions, encouraging consistency can lead to an increase in on-job safety.

Managers shouldn’t just tell people to stick to the processes, they should explain why it is important to do so. When people understand the why, it is easier to adhere.

The second way consistency improves management skills is that it builds trust in a manager. When a leader is known to be consistent with his words and his actions, it increases the morale and productivity of those he supervises. People like to work with a leader they can count on. The opposite is a manager who says one thing but means another or one who cannot be relied on in tough times.

Consistency also sets a good example for employees. They look to their manager’s behaviour to show them what is acceptable at work. A manager who lives up to his promises and walks the walk will inspire others to do the same.

Manage expectations

Improve management skills by learning to manage expectations. As a manager, you are a bridge between upper management and your team. This means that you have to relay what your own managers need to your team as well as represent your team’s needs with upper management.

Learning to manage expectations can save you from over promising and under delivering. Be honest with your bosses and tell them what is possible given the resources available. In the same way, tell your team the truth and not what they need to hear. This will earn you the trust of both camps.

Proven methods to improve management skills
Image: Pexels

Prepare to make difficult choices

When you know that making hard decisions comes with the territory of being a manager, you will be able to equip yourself with the fortitude to make them. Such a situation can arise when for one reason or another you have to let an employee go. Even when you have built human connections with your team, there may be times you will have to let employees go.

With the right resources, you will know how to communicate as well as make the transition easier for the remaining teammates. Sometimes making a hard decision requires you to say no. Although uncomfortable for some, learning to say no has its own rewards.

Listen more

Listening is one way to improve management skills. There is a lot that can be learned from paying attention to what employees and team mates say. When a leader gives others a chance to contribute, it allows for a wider pool of ideas, some of which can propel the organisation forward. It also helps to build team cohesion as everyone has a chance to voice their ideas.

Try active listening to make sure you are supporting your team and improving your own management skills. Active listening includes; paying attention, reflecting back what is said, asking for clarification, summarising what you have heard and keeping an eye on your body language as well. Nod once in a while and avoid crossing your arms.

Educate yourself

There are numerous resources like courses and trainings that you can exploit to improve your management skills. Education should be an ongoing process because work, and the needs of the workforce keep evolving.

For instance, due to the pandemic, remote work is currently the only way some employees can do their jobs. An effective manager needs to learn the new ways to lead and motivate their remote teams. Even when more workers are able to fully return to offices, there will be new techniques managers need to learn to effectively lead.

For some, formal courses might not be an option. However, shadowing and mentorship programs are powerful ways to learn skills. Seeing what other managers do and being able to ask questions can help to improve management skills.

In Summary

To those they work with, managers are seen as leaders, employees, team members, morale boosters and so much more. To keep up with these roles and deliver, there is a need to continuously improve their management skills.

Managers can rely on techniques like listening and consistency which involve dealings with other people as well as those like improving emotional intelligence which involve a manager investing in their own personal development.

About the Author

Gerald is a freelance writer with a pen that is keen for entrepreneurship, business and technology. When he isn't writing insightful articles on employee engagement and corporate culture, Gerald can be found writing for a number of media outlets.

9 Awesome Methods to Find Blog Topics to Write About

You've been tasked with writing a new post on your business blog, yet you are all out of fresh ideas for topics to cover? Have no fear! That's a common issue and this article was written to solve it for you.

Writing inspiration at a low? It's ok. We’ve all been there at one point or another. 

You understand the benefits of blogging, and you have a good publishing workflow. You have been writing and publishing new blog posts regularly, and your website is naturally enjoying more traffic and engagement. Then you find that your topic ideas start drying up. It’s getting harder to think of blog topics to write about.

This is one of the biggest problems facing business bloggers across the globe. Thankfully, there are some fantastic ways to fix this, and fast. In this article, I will cover nine different methods that I personally have used in action, to discover interesting blog topics to write about, that both engage your audience and provide real value to them.

The nine methods to find great blog topics to write about, are;

You can click on the names above to jump straight to that section, or scroll down to read this article in full (recommended).

Ok, let’s get into each method to find blog topics to write about in more detail.

Embrace search predictions

No doubt you have noticed this before. When you start typing a search query on Google, they often display search terms in a drop down as you type. These are what are called ‘search predictions’. These search predictions are generated from popular and trending topics that are relevant, your own search habits (if you are logged in) and popular topics.

Let’s say you have a blog on your plant nursery website, and you want to write an article about indoor plants. You could find interesting topics by simply typing ‘water indoor plants’. The search predictions that appear can either be longer blog posts or they could be included as part of a future blog topic.

A blog post on watering indoor plants with ice cubes would be interesting; I didn’t realise that is a thing.

If you don’t find a few topics immediately, try variations of the topic query. Maybe ‘home plants’ or ‘pot plants’ will generate more suitable topics for you.

Be aware though, that you should be writing for humans first, and search engines secondly. My previous post on lessons from building a high traffic blog goes into more detail why you need to consider it in that order.

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Ask your customers

Another fantastic way to get blog topics to write about is to literally ask your audience. If you can, just ask your customers when you interact with them. It could be as simple as ‘what did you want to know more of, when it comes to [your industry or product]? For example ‘Hey Miles, what did you wish you knew about indoor plants?

Obviously, you will get plenty of strange one-off questions or topics, however the more customers you ask, the more themes you will start to see, that are worthy of a well written blog post.

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Spy on your current readers

You can easily take a look at your best performing posts as well as other important metrics in Google Analytics, and see if there’s anything else you could pen on a similar topic.

Let’s say you notice that your top five blog posts are all about how to propagate various indoor plants. This could then lead to topics on growing plants from cuttings, both indoor and outdoor, growing plants from seeds, which are the easiest plants for beginners to grow, etc.


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Review your search performance

As well as analytics, your Google search console reports also have some real gold in there too. In the example below, I have looked at the Performance page. The first column are search queries, the second are the amount of searches that resulted in a click to your website, and the third is the amount of times your page was shown in results (also known as an impression).

As you can see in this example, although 2,658 people saw our page in search results, only a measly four people clicked on it.

This could be because the page is out of date, or the topic is not as engaging as other similar websites. I would search that phrase in google, and look at the top handful of results. What makes theirs better than your page?

Writing a bigger more detailed and more valuable blog post or guide on this topic, may be the answer. Could you add more images, or provide a downloadable resource, or a growing guide and calendar specifically for Australia, etc?

If you don’t know your way around Google search console, we have written a great guide to Google Search Console for website owners.

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Bestselling book contents

There’s a very good chance that there are books for sale about your blog topic or business industry. For example, there’s a million and one web design books, and there are tens of thousands of books on gardening.

Amazon have a really good feature, called ‘Look inside’, which appears above the books cover image on many of their book results pages. This allows you to take a quick look at the table of contents, without having to go into a physical bookstore and thumb through their shelves.

Take a look at best seller lists that are related to your topics. If people are buying copies of the book, then it stands to reason there’s some real value inside. Don’t read the chapter, just look at the naming. Does this spark some inspiration for blog topics to write about?

In this example above, every one of those chapters could easily be a detailed blog post in itself. Couple that first column with the list of house plants, and you’ve got dozens of topic ideas. You could start lists such as (topic) for (specific plant). An example would be Best Soil Types for Growing Kangaroo Plants or How to Prune Snake Plants to Encourage Growth.

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Ask your team

Another interesting way to find blog topics to write about, is to ask your front line employees. They are the ones who often give advice or answer questions from customers, so they are likely aware of what are some common questions or topics of conversation among your clients or customers.

Ask your reception staff, sales people or customer service employees for questions they often get asked. The answers will often be surprising, and be worthy of putting a great post together, to save the repetitive answering your team have to often do, and also provide valuable content at the same time.

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Look at current trends

Notwithstanding the current coronavirus or USA election fever, there are plenty of other search trends that are growing and subsiding over time. If you type in a topic idea into Google Trends, they will display a page such as the below.

This example, last 12 months search trends in Australia for the search query, ‘indoor plants’, gives you some great blog topics immediately, under both the Related Topics and Related Queries panels.

Sadly, we can also see that it seems WA are the fifth state for green thumbs. Lift your game, West Australians.

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Answer questions asked on communities

Question and answer websites such as Quora or broader communities and discussion forums such as Reddit are great feeding grounds to find blog topics to write about that people are actually interested in knowing about.

Plus, if you take care to write a helpful reply, you could link your new blog post in an answer to those questions that inspired your post.

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Look at your competitors

When in doubt, look at your competitors. You can do this a number of different ways. You can search for topics and look at the top 5-10 results, and see what they cover. Then you set about writing your own version of that topic.

Secondly, you can use specialised software such as Ahrefs, and dig down for keyword data, to reveal what is missing.

In this example, I used the very handy Content Gap feature, and compared three competitors for my blog on indoor plants. This then shows me phrases and keywords that my competitors rank in the top ten for, which my blog or website doesn’t.

For example, my second competitor is in 10th place for the term “how often to water indoor plants” and my blog doesn’t rank at all.

There were 37 keywords here that my blog doesn’t rank for. Do this a few more times with other competitors, and I am sure to have a list of 100+ keywords that are likely to make great topic ideas.

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In Summary

There we have it, nine super effective methods to find new blog topics to write about. If you do a handful of these each time you find your inspiration waning, it should keep you full botte with creative ideas for many posts ahead.

To recap, those nine methods to find great blog topics to write about, are;

All the best with your blogging into the future, and for providing great value to your ever growing audience!

12 Powerful Benefits of Blogging for Businesses and Brands

You’ve seen all your competitor’s blogging, and you’ve wondered if there’s really any value in doing so. This article, we break down the main benefits of blogging for your business, and why you should start today.


We started blogging for Bam Creative way back in 2005. Seems like lifetimes ago now. Since then, our blog design and content, our planning and our goals have changed direction many times. However, one thing is clear. Over the years, it has been a very successful part of our marketing, and has helped us pick up a fair amount of business over the last one and a half decades.

It’s not just us though; businesses the word over are singing the praises of business blogging. Let’s go through 12 benefits of blogging, and why you can enjoy these perks for your brand.

12 benefits of blogging

Before we get into it, here are the dozen benefits of blogging we will discuss in this article;

  • Creates authority in your industry
  • Create Value for your customers
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Attracts email subscribers
  • Creates awareness of your offering
  • Valuable content for your social curation
  • Builds important backlinks
  • Helps you virtually network
  • Highlights your business values
  • Supports PR and other marketing activities
  • Generates website traffic
  • Encourages valuable enquiries

We’ve been doing content marketing for quite some time, both for ourselves and a number of clients. This can range from social media strategy, posting and management, as well as blogging strategy, writing and promotion.

We have seen all of these benefits ourselves or through our clients. Let’s go through them one by one, in more detail.

Creates authority in your industry

For many industries, it is often hard to cut through the noise, and position yourself as someone the media can turn to for a voice bite, or for a potential customer to trust as the authority on your areas of expertise.

One of the major ‘soft’ benefits of blogging is just that; positioning yourself as an authority in your subject area. Do a google search right now for ‘[industry name] experts’ and you’ll find that many of these authority figures have business or personal blogs.

Create value for your customers

This is one of the frequently overlooked benefits of blogging, yet it has huge value for your existing customer base. Being able to answer their concerns or questions in long form, and help educate existing clients at scale has big benefits for them, as long as you let them know about your posts.

A real world recent example of this, was my article last month about how to do your own SEO health check. I had a client a few weeks before that ask me about the best way they could keep an eye on their own search engine optimisation, and I took my few paragraphs of email response, and turned it into a lengthy and actionable blog post, for their benefit and the benefit of everyone who reads it.

Search engine optimisation

Speaking of SEO, one of the top benefits of bogging is the additional text and visual content that you are feeding search engines such as Google by regularly posting on your website. There are a few positive boosts for SEO. There’s both the additional content they can crawl and index, but also the overall freshness of your website, especially if you post a new blog post every week or two.

SEO benefits of blogging: Google results
SEO benefits of blogging: Google results

Attracts email subscribers

So, you want to get to the first page of search engines, so you have better consumer awareness, and by bringing traffic to your blog, you hope to encourage these readers to give us their email address to receive a monthly email newsletter?

With both organic search (people coming from search engines organically, that is, not paid for) as well as direct (typically typing in their URL)

This shows that the majority of visitors to the site, by a long shot, is organic visitors, who account for 66.52% of all traffic.

Many of these visitors also are willing to share their email address, so our client can send a monthly email full of additional great content (and offers). We track these as well, so we can see how we’re going with our email marketing.

That’s a great mailing list; 28,122 people who enjoy their website and specifically, their blog, enough to trust this company with their email address.

A number of these subscribers have gone to be customers as well, so we are building a community and growing the customer base.

Creates awareness of your offering

Let’s take this blog. One of our Top 10 posts so far this year, was posted earlier this year. It got a small amount of interest at the start, and then, over time, it was indexed by search engines and received a very healthy ranking – first page for a number of keywords.

The traffic to this one post looks like:

Now the point of this post, and many of our posts, is to raise awareness that we not only offer services in these areas, and that we know what we’re talking about. So, whilst there’s no immediate financial return, we’re building branding and we do receive enquiries that turn into new clients as a result of our blogging.

Valuable content for your social curation

Let me guess, every week when you are scheduling your business social posts for the week ahead, you spend most of the time trying to decide what topics to cover, or find articles from trusted sources, to share with your audience?

Now imagine if you were regularly posting your own content, which means that you have a whole library of existing material that you can share and re-share with your social followers. Sound good? As someone regularly scheduling social content, that’s another one of my favourite benefits of blogging.

Builds important backlinks

I’m assuming your understand the value of backlinks for SEO, and that you know how important each and every inbound link is for your brand. Blog posts are by far way more attractive for people to link to, than your product page or homepage, no matter how good they look.

Here’s an example. Let’s imagine you have just written an article, and you want to link an external source about saving the environment. Would you link to a local not for profit homepage, or would you rather link to an article that goes into 26 ways you can help save the environment? The latter, of course.

Some of our clients have built thousands of backlinks through blogging consistently, and publishing high quality content. This has been a massive boost to their SEO, which in turn generates traffic and then customers.

Helps you virtually network

Another one of the more ‘soft’ benefits of blogging, however I still feel there’s significant value in this. I’ve been to a few conferences in the last few years, where I have had people introduced to me, who have recalled a blog post they have read of ours.

This, in turn, helps me build real relationships with people, both in the face to face space (pre COVID, of course) and via email and social media.

Highlights your business values

Many modern brands, ourselves included, have strong business values that we work to uphold. A blog helps you promote this, and subconsciously you are likely to be reinforcing your business values, purely in the topics you cover and the articles you publish.

This can help attract new customers, as well as new suppliers and new employees, who find your values align with their own.

Supports PR and other marketing activities

Hopefully you aren’t only using one marketing channel to promote your business, and there’s a good chance that you are also leaning in on public relations, as well as offline marketing as well. One of the lesser considered benefits of blogging is being able to reinforce the messaging you are using elsewhere, on your blog as well.

I am not suggesting that you turn each media release into a blog post, that content is frequently too dry for blogging, however you can offer a detailed analysis of any news, or more behind the scenes perspective on your latest service or product on your blog.

Generates website traffic

Earlier in this article, I already covered backlinks and SEO benefits of blogging What these naturally do is increase the amount of exposure you get on search engines, which in turn, drives more users to your business website.

This, in itself, has no real benefit for your business, however it is far more likely that some of these new visitors will send an enquiry or get in touch, which leads to more sales and profits as a natural result.

Website traffic benefits of blogging
Website traffic benefits of blogging

Encourages valuable enquiries

Now that we have mentioned attracting enquiries, let’s look at a real example. The results of blogging for a client of ours.

Using pay per click campaigns, which we also manage, we know that a new enquiry costs about $38 to attract. So, could they reduce their spend on pay per click, and make more from their blog? Absolutely!

One of their most popular blog posts has had 10,250 people visit in the last six months. Each visitor on average, spent 3 minutes and 53 seconds on that page, presumably reading it. Out of those, nearly all of them, in fact 10,109 visitors, arrived at this specific article first (called an Entrance page).

Great work on getting new people exposed to the brand, right? Yes. However, we’re interested in enquiries, not just readers.

So, drum roll, how many enquiries have they received?

Google Analytics doesn’t lie; they have received 281 new enquiries, as a result of a single article.

In value, that equates to 281 x $38 = $10,678. That’s how much it would have cost to attract 281 using the pay per click campaigns we have also run for them.

The article certainly didn’t cost anywhere near ten thousand dollars, in fact, the whole six months of blogging would have been covered with that income.

Obviously, that’s not actual sales or profit though – we would expect 100% of enquiries to become sales, and we also know that profits would be far greater than $38 per sale.

All in all, this is an example of a very successful campaign.

via GIPHY

5 Tips on Blogging for Australian Businesses

Now that we have covered the benefits of blogging, what about a few tips for beginner bloggers? Here are five quick tips to help you get started blogging for your business.

1. Have a goal in mind, it could be like these three examples; raising brand awareness, generating sales leads, building a subscriber list.

2. Understand it isn’t an overnight success. Things take time. As shown in the first graph of this article, traffic builds over time to a fantastic article.

3. The more you blog, the better the returns. Some blog posts will get great attention, and others will seem like virtual tumbleweeds. Whilst you can follow a formula, to maximise the chances of the former not the latter, don’t expect all articles to be killer traffic generators.

4. Think of the reader. A great article shares knowledge, such as this one. It’s not all about ‘How awesome our product is’. That’s a long form ad, not an article.

5. Measure everything. The only way I’m able to share some of these success stories, is by measurement. Track everything you can, down to the sale value.

Here's another post we've written on the twelve essential items every business blog should have, which I am positive will also provide value.

Summary

I trust that the above dozen benefits of blogging spelt out, as well as the beginner tips on starting a blog will help make up your mind on the importance of blogging.

Those 12 benefits of blogging again, are;

  • Creates authority in your industry
  • Create Value for your customers
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Attracts email subscribers
  • Creates awareness of your offering
  • Valuable content for your social curation
  • Builds important backlinks
  • Helps you virtually network
  • Highlights your business values
  • Supports PR and other marketing activities
  • Generates website traffic
  • Encourages valuable enquiries

Now you understand and appreciate the importance of investing time and money, creating valuable content that attracts readers. Good luck in starting that blog!

Why and How to Run a DIY SEO Health Check in Under 10 Minutes

Search engine optimisation. It sounds like a voodoo science, right? In this article, I’ll explain why it is important you know how well your website ranks, and give you the knowledge and free tools to run a DIY SEO health check.

Let’s talk search engines. Did you know that 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine? If you aren’t appearing in organic search results, you’re missing truckloads of potential website visitors, which equates to missed sales opportunities. Let's look at how you can perform a DIY SEO health check, and review how well your website is performing.

So how do you run a DIY SEO audit on your own website? Definitely NOT by just searching your business name using your usual browser. The results will give you a very skewed perception of your website performance. In this article, I will explain why that happens, and share ways you can do your own research with a DIY SEO health check.

There are three types of website owners

When it comes to search engine optimisation, there is three types of website owner.

Those who enjoy great rankings

These websites tend to get a lot of traffic, enquiries and possibly sales. It is very likely they have made a conscious effort to improve their rankings. Some are lucky enough to have just managed it without any effort, however that percentage is tiny and shrinking smaller by the day.

Those who are improving their SEO

Done well, SEO can have a huge impact on most businesses bottom lines. This segment of people is the majority, who week after week, month after month, compound their efforts to get great rankings for their websites.

Those ignoring search engines entirely

There’s a percentage of people out there, who believe that search engines don’t matter for their business. I hate to break it to you; this is highly unlikely. Even if you believe all your enquiries come from word of mouth or existing customers, there’s a large market share out there who you could attract with a little effort.

The search engine market

Yes, it’s true there are dozens of search engines getting tons of traffic, however in Australia, the playing field is definitely skewed towards one brand. Google has a whopping 94% of the Australian search engine market share, a percentage that has barely changed for a number of years.

For the purposes of this article, we will concentrate on Google.

Why keywords matter

Chances are, if you search for your own business name, you are likely to rank fairly highly for it. Assuming it is pretty unique, then there’s no reason why you should rank well.

A small amount of your potential audience probably do search for your business name. Those that have heard about you already. However, what percentage of your possible market have heard of you? Unless you are Apple, Amazon or Coca-Cola, it’s unlikely the majority of your potential market have heard about you.

You are better off being found on Google for keywords that you potential market searches for.

In order to do that, you need to first understand where your website currently ranks, and then look at various offsite and onsite SEO factors that you can update or improve, in order to improve your SEO.

How to run your DIY SEO health check

There are basically three simple steps to running your own DIY SEO health check. They ma

  • Research and choose relevant keywords
  • Use private/incognito browser to search
  • Track data in spreadsheet

Ready? Let's get into the nitty gritty of it all.

So how do you get found?

By using the right keywords. When I say the right keywords, I mean the keywords other people would use to find services or products like yours. These are not what you would search for necessarily, but rather, what your potential market searches for. We are all guilty of using industry acronyms or internal phrases; what are the words that people who do not intimately know your products or services search for?

Ok, here's a quick survey. Imagine for a moment you are looking for a place to stay in Margaret River. What phrase would you type into a search engine? The exact phrase; would it be something like "holiday Margaret River", or maybe "Margaret River house", or some other phrase?

Now, remember it or write it down, and we will now look at the actual search data.

Keyword statistics, October 2020
Keyword statistics, October 2020


In the above table, you can see that ranking on the first page for the phrase “houses for rent margaret river” would be fantastic, with 300 people every month searching for that. However being on the first page for “Margaret river accommodation” would be 24 times better than that, with a whopping 7,200 people searching for that phrase.

If you were an accommodation provider in Margaret River, what phrase would you rather rank for?

It’s also true, looking at the above statistics, that accommodation is a hard word to spell. The single M misspelling ranks highly in our list for similar phrases.

Find the right keywords

Now that you understand the importance of relevant keywords, the first step in undertaking our DIY SEO health check, is to create a list of keywords that you’d hope your website would rank for.

Start by identifying a few keywords you feel would be searched for, frequently. You can either come up with these on your own, or ask a few colleagues or family members for ideas.

Then you can visit the Ahrefs Keyword Generator for some suggestions. Make sure to change the country to Australia!

Using Ahrefs Keyword Generator for DIY SEO
Using Ahrefs Keyword Generator for DIY SEO

When you do a search, the resulting page will have a list of keyword ideas, and there will be three additional columns.

The first is KD, or keyword difficulty. This is a score out of 100, showing how difficult it is to rank on the first page for that keyword or phrase. The smaller the number, the easier it would be to rank for that phrase.

The next column, Volume, is also very important, because it shows how many people search for that phrase. The higher the search volume, the better for our purposes.

Lastly, they display the date in which the data on that specific keyword was last updated. Most of the data will be less than a month old, which is fine for our needs.

When assessing keywords, you should consider two main elements, that is, potential and relevancy.

Potential

In an ideal world, you should be able to find relevant keywords that have low keyword difficulty, and high search volume. When researching, you may find a keyword that is searched 10,000 times a month. You'd naturally assume you should target that, however if the keyword difficulty is high, like above 40 let's say, then maybe it is better to target 5 keywords that are searched 2,000 times each, but have a keyword difficulty score of less than 5.

It really is a balancing act, and there's no hard and fast rule about metrics to aim for here.

Relevancy

The relevance is important. Don't just choose keywords with low difficulty, if they aren't relevant. For example, "margaret river accommodation with spa" is not useful to you, if your accommodation doesn't have a spa. All that does it upset web visitors, and won't help get enquiries. 

There is a train of thought that complementary keywords do work though. So in this case, "margaret river activities" may suit, as well as "hotels margaret river".

Reviewing your own website

Now that you are looking through these various keywords, you should create a simple spreadsheet, and start to populate it with your chosen keywords or phrases. You can use Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, whatever software you are comfortable with.

What you will do in our next step, is start populating this sheet with your actual position numbers, and the date you checked, as shown in the image below. That way, you can see if your ranking is improving, staying the same, or getting worse, month by month.

Tracking ranking in DIY SEO
Using spreadsheet to track search ranking

How to check your rankings

You can’t just search Google normally, to find where your website ranks. The reason for this, is that Google personalises their search results for you. That means if you and I both searched for ‘holiday homes Margaret river’ for example, that we may actually see different websites in the results.

What we need to do, is use private or incognito mode, to check Google search results for your website.

Using incognito mode in Chrome browser
Using incognito mode in Chrome browser

If you use Chrome browser, click on the top right corner, where the three dots appear. Then choose “New incognito window”. If you use Safari, go to the File menu, and choose “New private window”.

Using private mode in Safari browser
Using private mode in Safari browser

In this new window, type www.google.com.au into the address bar. Bingo! You now have a vanilla non-personalised version of Google to search the keywords you have listed in the previous step.

When you do start looking, remember also that there are advertisements, so don't include them in your position count. If your website appears on the second page, halfway down, then that would be 15th place. Write a 15 in the column under today's date for that keyword or phrase.

Don't go past say 5-10 pages. If your website does not appear in the first 10 pages for that keyword, just mark it as not found. It is very unlikely people are clicking on it, if it appears after there, anyway.

How to see what keywords currently bring traffic

The easiest way to see what keywords are bring you website visitors at the moment, is to look in your Google My Business account, assuming you have set it up. If you haven't yet, read our article on setting up your account on Google My Business

The main menu, on the left hand side, includes a link to an Insights screen, which gives you lots of informative metrics and stats, including the keywords that have been clicked on to reach your website.

Insights screen in Google My Business
Insights screen in Google My Business

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Looking in Google Analytics for more information

The next tool I want to quickly mention is Google Analytics. Using this, you can find all sorts of interesting data points as well, such as what pages people arrive at first on your website. As we know, it's not always the homepage that gets new visitors. For example, one website we manage, the homepage only received 1% of new visitors. The internal pages rank better than the front page.

Read our article on Important Metrics in Google Analytics for more on other metrics to look at.

In Summary

Using the steps above, you can quickly get in the habit of doing a DIY SEO health check of your website once a month or more.

Simply follow the second and third steps as mentioned above, being;

  • Use private/incognito browser to search
  • Track data in spreadsheet

When you have a few months of data collected, you can then determine an SEO strategy to improve your ranking and get more visitors to convert to enquiries or sales. Let us know if we can help in any way, and all the best of luck!

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