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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
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.

Complete Guide to Effective Website Migration SEO

At some point, you will need to do a website migration. This could be for a number of reasons, yet with care, it shouldn't affect your SEO. This guide gives you the advice you'll need.

Like them or not, sometimes it is necessary to do a website migration. It may be that you are merging two websites together, you’ve changed brand name or indeed, you have overhauled the look and structure of your website.

In any case, there are a number of search engine optimisation considerations to be aware of. In this article, I take you through website migration SEO, and the areas to keep an eye on.

What does website migration mean?

Simply put, a website migration is when you have made significant changes to your website structure. This is typically the URL structure, and internal links, etc. A domain name change, or moving internal pages from one section to another, are all considered website migrations.

Reasons for a website migration

As I mentioned above, it isn’t always just a website overhaul that affects the structure or overall design of your website. It could be that you need to do a website migration, because you have changed brand name and have a new domain name, or it could be that you’re merging two websites with distinct content together.

Finally, of course you may simply be overhauling your existing website design and perhaps the structure and content as well.

Risks involved with migrating websites

When migrating a website, no matter how large or small, there are a number of moving parts. There’s hosting and server considerations, possibly content management system changes, internal URL changes, and more.

All of these items can pose a risk to your SEO and user experience if you aren’t careful. These include things such as;

  • Contact form(s) no longer working
  • Broken links, affecting user experience
  • Payment gateways failing
  • Bad caching; such as two websites being shown for a while
  • Negative performance issues; slower website, etc
  • Slipping down search results due to poor SEO

This article we’ll stick to the last point as our topic, and how to avoid negative website migration SEO issues.

Specific website migration SEO challenges

There are a few challenges when overhauling or moving a website that aren’t obvious to the end user (or in our case, many of our clients). They are the negative SEO risks that can occur, such as;

  • Loss of search engine rankings and visibility
  • Loss of DA (domain authority)
  • Drop in website traffic

By utilising the best practice approaches I have included below, you'll minimise these risks and come out on top. So lets get into the detail!

Before your migration

I hate to break it to you, however migrating your website isn’t simply flicking the switch from old to new website. Oh, how I wish it was! There’s a fair bit that goes on, here’s what you should focus on from a website migration SEO perspective.

  • Run a speed check
  • Crawl and backup your website
  • Collate your previous seo efforts
  • Collect and consider any paid links or PPC advertising
  • Understand redirects
  • Create a redirect map
  • Collate your target keywords and phrases
  • Download and review your robots.txt file
  • Make a new custom 404 page

Run a speed check

I have previously written about the effects of speed on your website SEO and overall user experience. It is so vitally important to get this right. Any website migration should end up with a faster, not slower, website.

Crawl and backup your website

One of the first things you should do, prior to any website changes, is crawl your current site and make a backup of it as well.

Crawling your existing website will give you a very handy list of all your current URLs, and allow you to generate a redirect list, which I will explain further on. This crawl and the backup files therefore ensure you have a complete and accurate record of everything that is already included within your website.

My recommended tools to both crawl and backup your existing website are…

Screaming Frog is an SEO spider, which will crawl your website and report on 101 things, such as broken links and the like.

HTTrack which is a free offline browser, capable of taking an offline copy of your website in no time at all (depending obviously on your website size).

Collate your previous SEO efforts

There’s nothing worse than having paid an SEO agency for a few years of hard effort, and destroying it all in one swoop by not taking care of any website migrations or overhauls. You should always talk to your SEO person, and at least collate all their work to date, so you can see what areas to treat with care.

Collect and consider any paid links or PPC advertising

Speaking of external efforts, this is something I have seen a number of times. People are always careful with their internal links, however they forget they have Google Ads or something running, and the campaign destination page is some internal page that has moved.

Understand redirects

Your website’s URL structure should stay identical to the old website, unless you have very strong logical reasons to change it.

I always recommend that clients try and keep their website url structure as close as possible to before, if they can. One of the main reasons for keeping your architecture the same, is to reduce the amount of redirects that you need to plan for and map out.

This, in turn helps reduce unnecessary technical load on your hosting server, which means a faster website and setting up any redirects is much easier.

Remember, removing any internal page subsequently removes that page's ability to capture any search engine traffic. Try to avoid this at all costs.

Create a redirect map

There will always be a few pages that are either being removed entirely or for some good reason, need to change URL. In this case, a redirect map is very handy.

The easiest way to create a redirect map, is to create a Microsoft Excel or Google Sheet, and have a column showing the old URL, and then a column showing the proposed new URL (if any).

The reason you want to create redirects on any pages that are moving URL is to keep any external links from other websites valid, and for any SEO ‘juice’ the page may have to flow to the new address, rather than be thrown out.

So, if there is a suitable replacement for the page you are moving or deleting, then you should create a redirect and change all of the links to point to that new URL. This should only happen though if your replacement page serves the same purpose as the old page.

You should also do your best to avoid just redirecting old pages to your website home page. If there is no suitable replacement for a page, it really should then be a 404 for Google’s sake.

Collate your target keywords and phrases

You can use that redirect map to add your target keywords and phrases as well. By previously grouping your topics and keywords, and keeping an up-to-date document of this, makes this part of the process much easier.

If you haven’t done this before, now is a better time than any to get started. Reading this article about the process will definitely help you on the right track.

Download and review your robots.txt file

While you are doing all of this, make sure you take a moment to download and check your robots.txt file for anything untoward or that you require changing.

These text files are such a handy way of informing crawlers and search software what to do, so ensure that you have one, and that you keep it updated.

Make a new custom 404 page

A well written custom 404 page will allow your website visitors to easily navigate your website if they should end up at a dead end.

The above custom 404 page not only has some fantastic humour, it also has three distinct features, being;

Homepage link

Ability to keyword search the site

Major menu items clearly displayed

A way to get in touch with them

This is the sort of things I expect to see on any good 404 page. It allows the website visitor an option of navigation style which best suits them, as well as a way to get in touch.

After your migration

Once your shiny new and improved website goes live, you should immediately do a few things;

  • Check all redirects work
  • Do another speed check
  • Check for any technical redirect issues
  • Make sure internal links are all correct
  • Check custom 404 is in place
  • Make sure SSL certificate is correct
  • Ensure google analytics and any other tags are still present
  • Re-enable any PPC campaigns etc that were paused
  • Submit new sitemap in Google Search Console

Check all redirects work

Straight after your website migration has happened, you need to jump in and start checking all the redirects to start with. This ensures you can manually check that everything that was meant to be copied over, was, and that all the content has moved across as expected.

If you find anything missing, you should be able to retrieve it from the backup we took earlier in this process.

Do another speed check

Redirects as of website migrations can sometimes negatively impact speed performance. For example, if you redirect from one url to another, and that then redirects to a further internal link. These sorts of issues can result in small but painful speed and performance issues, as well as generally negative user experience, so it is important to check speeds before and after any major website changes.

Check for any technical redirect issues

Speaking of redirect chains above, there are a number of potential technical issues with your website indexing and crawlability, so you will want to make sure that Google can crawl and index your new website well.

Tools such as httpstatus can do redirect and website header checks, to make sure everything is in order. For example, here’s an error which it picked up when a whole domain is pointed to another domain, which has SSL enabled.

Make sure internal links are all correct

I often promote the use of in-content links to help with SEO and generally better user experience. You don’t want all of these to break, when you migrate your website. Use a tool such as Ahrefs or Screaming Frog, to look for potentially broken internal links, and fix them as fast as possible - even if you have put a redirect on them.

Check custom 404 is in place

Remember that nice 404 page you created in the pre-migration checklist? Make sure it is working as expected, by trying a few obviously broken URL’s. For example, add some random characters at the end of your domain name, such as www.domainname.com/wevkfjernqekrjvbeqruv and see what happens.

Make sure SSL certificate is correct

Ensure Google Analytics and any other tags are still present

It is extremely important in the process of updating your website, that you ensure that any GA or other third party tool tags are copied over to the new website. This will ensure you do not lose any important analytics or data.

Keeping all of these tags in Google Tag Manager is a fantastic way of ensuring everything that needs copying over, is copied over.

Add note to Google Analytics

Nearly everyone uses Google Analytics, yet many people don’t know about their very handy annotations feature.

That little link on the lower right hand side of your audience graphs, allows you to add annotations, in order to signify any critical dates and changes to your website. These notes can really help you down the track to identify any changes that you notice in website traffic or behaviour.

Re-enable any PPC campaigns etc that were paused

Remember how we discussed any pay per click or advertising campaigns that may need pausing during the website migration process? Now is the time to turn those back on, and check that they work, and the destination URL is set correctly.

Monitor website performance

Sometimes you may notice a temporary dip in website traffic, as your website migration settles down. Other times, you may not notice any change.

It is worth keeping a regular eye on Google Analytics or any other site monitoring tools that you utilise, to ensure that your website performance stays great over the first few days and weeks.

At the end of the day, the sooner you can notice and resolve any issues that you encounter, the less damage they can cause to your SEO or website visitor experience.

Watch your referral and search traffic, and keep an eye on things at a page level as well. If there are any large fluctuations, you will want to investigate these further.

Submit new sitemap in Google Search Console

You already have access to your Google Search Console account, right? Then you should be able to upload an XML sitemap of your new website structure, and ask Google politely to re-crawl the site.

This isn’t obviously absolutely required, because Google will eventually discover the changes anyway, however the quicker your new pages are in their search results, the better.

Reach out to influential referrers

If you have a few backlinks that send significant referral traffic to you, or have high domain authority which in turn, helps your domain authority, you may want to reach out and let them know of any URL changes.

It is not only polite, but ensure your website migration SEO stays the same afterwards, or at least has the best chance to. Send them a short email to inform them of the migration, and suggest that they update any backlinks that point to your website.

If they do update these links, it will help accelerate the process of Google updating their index and seeing that a website migration has happened.

In Summary

By following the above process, you’ll be in a far better position to say that you’ve done everything you can to not have any negative SEO effects from migrating your website.

SO, to recap on everything above, first off you should;

  • Run a speed check
  • Crawl your website
  • Collate your previous SEO efforts
  • Collect and consider any paid links or PPC advertising
  • Understand redirects
  • Create a redirect map
  • Collate your target keywords and phrases
  • Download and review your robots.txt file
  • Make a new custom 404 page

Once your website is live, then you must;

  • Check all redirects work
  • Do another speed check
  • Check for any technical redirect issues
  • Make sure internal links are all correct
  • Check custom 404 is in place
  • Make sure SSL certificate is correct
  • Ensure google analytics and any other tags are still present
  • Re-enable any PPC campaigns etc that were paused
  • Submit new sitemap in Google Search Console
  • Reach out to influential referrers

All the best and may your rankings stay strong!

Guide to Keyword Research: What It Is and How to Do It

To rank well on Google, you need to know the right keywords to target first. This is called keyword research. In this guide, I will explain what keyword research is, and how important it is for you and your business.

Imagine being psychic and knowing what your ideal customer would search for on Google to find your competitors. Actually, there’s no crystal ball needed, just some plain old fashioned hard work. It’s called keyword research and I’ll show you how.

In this article, I’ll help you understand why you need to know your ideal keywords, how it all fits in with search engine optimisation (aka SEO) and how you can get an unfair advantage over your competitors. Let’s get into it!

This guide is broken down into some clear sections to make it easier for readers. I encourage you to read it from top to bottom, however if you are visiting again and want to jump straight to the right section, here’s a quick way to get there.

Ready to get into learning about keyword research? Let’s do this!

What is keyword research?

In a nutshell, keyword research is the process of looking at what people are searching for, when they are finding services or products like yours.

In a broader sense, keyword research will tell you which topics people care about, and which are popular among your audience. This will allow you to create content on subjects that people will actually want to read.

Everyone has a different reason for doing keyword research, and there are many different ways to research the right keywords.

Every solid SEO strategy starts with identifying the best keywords that you can apply to your content and all your digital marketing. This is where keyword research comes in.

Keyword research involves typing your target keywords into a keyword research tool, or paying to have your keywords analysed by a specialist. For example, I list some free and paid tools down below, and we also offer keyword research services here at Bam Creative. 

Keywords are the key to bringing new traffic and visitors from search engines. It is these keywords that readers will search for in a search engine, and you’re trying to rank for; that is, you want to appear in search results.

Intent matters as well. For example, if a user was searching for “how to register a domain name” Google will figure out they are looking for a specific website or article that helps answer their question. However, if it were “domain name registration prices” the intent is quite different; the user wants to register a domain name right now.

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Why is keyword research important?

Before you can really optimise all the content on your website for search engine optimisation (SEO) purposes, you need to know which keywords your audience is searching for the most.

Search engines, such as Google or Bing, use the phrase or search term you type in, to serve up the most relevant results. They use many different methods to determine who appears where in the results, however to have any fighting chance, you need to incorporate the right keywords in your content.

It’s easy to think that you can just enter in a handful of keywords and, boom, you’re done. Wrong. That’s not how it works at all.

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How does it fit into SEO?

As previously mentioned, keyword research is the first step to having an effective search engine optimisation strategy. It tells you what people are searching for and how popular those topics are among your audience.

This keyword research strategy is a vital part of the SEO process.

There really is no point in going through every word on your website, optimising it all to where you are happy, unless you have done the hard yards with keyword research to begin with.

For example, say you have a signage business in Perth. You may target the phrase ‘signage mt lawley’, however my research shows only a handful of people ever search that phrase. Then you may want to target ‘signage western australia’ however that’s very popular and also competitive with many other websites chasing that keyword.

So, what are you going to do? This is where keyword research comes in.

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Keyword research tools

When you want to do keyword research, there are a number of tools out there to help you out. These can help you with narrowing down your search for specific terms, as well as finding related keywords and relevant content.

As you will see from the list below, keyword research tools don’t need to take a large portion of your marketing budget.

You can start by using free tools to begin with, and then later on you can swap to paid software. You’ll find generally that the paid tools are far more feature rich, and perfect for someone who is taking their website SEO extremely seriously.

Free keyword research tools

Here are some handy keyword research tools online for those who don't want to pay for professional SEO software. Some of my favourites include the following.

Answer the Public
https://answerthepublic.com/

KeywordTool.io
https://keywordtool.io/

Keyword Tool Dominator
https://www.keywordtooldominator.com/

Google Trends
https://trends.google.com/trends/?geo=US

Google Search Console
https://search.google.com/search-console/about

Google Keyword Planner
https://ads.google.com/intl/en_cy/home/tools/keyword-planner/

Just because the above tools are free, doesn't mean they are terrible; you can get some great information, somewhat limited however, from them all.

Paid keyword software

There are plenty of different paid software packages out there, depending on your requirements. The three I would recommend the most, are;

Ahrefs
https://ahrefs.com/site-explorer

Moz
https://moz.com/tools/keyword-difficulty

SEMrush
https://www.semrush.com/

Take a few of these software tools for a trial, and I am positive you will find one that you like the most. All three are really useful and highly recommended.

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How to perform keyword research

If you want to rank for keywords, you need to figure out what they are. But that means going through your entire site, category, and blog.

If you want to rank high on Google, you can’t just randomly guess.

There are certain keywords you should focus on to find the best keywords to use on your website.

By completing the following steps, you will be able to find keywords for your website. Then you'll be able to find keywords that you will want to include within your website, landing pages and possibly want to talk about on your blog.

By doing so, you'll be able to rank for these keywords, and then your target audience will be able to find you by searching those keywords.

I'm going to use two software packages to do this, one free (Answer the Public) and one paid (Ahrefs). So let's get into it.

Keyword research with Answer the Public

Answer the Public gives some great information for a free keyword research tool.

Keywords are the words that people search on Google for your business. If you want to rank for them, you need to know what they are so you can rank on the first page of Google.

This process isn't going to be easy if you aren't used to keyword research, but you can find keywords for your website if you know how to do it.


These are the words that people most commonly search on Google, sorted into prepositions and the like. For example, I searched 'keyword research' and chose English and Australia, and the above image shows some of the many results.

Now, we could use these results to target specific phrases that contain the words 'keyword research', such as;

  • how to start keyword research
  • keyword research for seo
  • why keyword research is important in seo
  • keyword research with semrush
  • keyword research tool free google

By doing so, you will then be targeting these keywords in your page or blog content and then over time, your content should start to rank for those phrases.

Answer the Public also has a Pro version, which gives you far more features and results. You can find out more about that here.

Keyword research with Ahrefs

My favourite software is Ahrefs, however it is a professional tool, so it comes with a relevant price tag. They have a great trial period deal though, so maybe take them for a spin first.


Using the keywords analysis section of Ahrefs, you can do some very basic keyword research by simply typing the phrase, and looking at the suggested terms that are similar.

For example, in the above image, I searched for 'signage perth'. Ahrefs has given me dozens of relevant phrases that are similar. We can compare these by KD which is keyword difficulty and by Volume, which is the frequency these terms are searched.

You would assume that we should all be trying to rank on the first page for 'signage perth', because according to this image, it is searched 600 times a month, versus say 'shop signage perth which is only searched 30 times per month.

However, that's where keyword difficulty comes into play. This is a score out of 100, so you can see that 'signage perth' has a KD of 29, and 'shop signage perth' is only 17. This means that it would be nearly twice as easy to rank for the latter, than the former.

You may decide to start by getting to page one for the easier terms, and then once you have a few there, then work towards getting the bigger, more difficult keywords.

Many SEO experts will try and determine the difficulty to rank on page one for specific keywords, manually. They will search Google for the term, and then spend time looking at the top ranked results for that term or keyword.

There are many different factors to take into account here, such as :

  • Number (and quality) of backlinks;
  • Use of the target keyword, synonyms, entities;
  • Search intent;
  • Frequency of that site being updated;
  • Domain Rating (DR);
  • Website branding;
  • The length of the content and its relevance;
  • etc.

The ranking of any page is based on the above factors, and many others. Google doesn’t exactly state what these are, or what their methodology is, when they determine how to rank pages.

One SEO professional may think that relevance of keywords is the most important element, another may say domain rating is most important. This makes it hard to just say do this one thing and you'll rank well.

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Review your research regularly!

Keyword research isn’t something that you do once, when you build a new website or blog, and leave it at that. In fact, many people are constantly researching and tweaking their content to suit.

For example, if you run a business blog, you should be doing keyword research for each post that you are publishing. This means getting into the habit of doing a constant review and evaluation of keyword opportunities available to you.

Just like with your DIY SEO audits, I recommend that you at least look to revisit the keywords that you are optimising your website for at least once per quarter. This is obviously dependent on how well your overall SEO work is going, and how competitive your industry and relevant keywords are.

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In Summary

Having a great SEO strategy can be a great way to grow a business. However it is all underpinned by having a holistic understanding of keyword research and having the tools and knowledge to execute it effectively.

We have covered a fair amount of information within the keyword research topic that you might need to learn, from understanding the basics of keyword research through to tools and more. Here’s a quick menu to let you jump back for a quick revision;

I trust that this guide has really helped you gain a better understanding of keyword research and what it can do for your marketing and overall business.

Always remind yourself that search engine optimisation is a complex process and one that can't be learned in just one blog post or one weekend.

If you want to learn more about digital marketing strategies or search engine optimisation, make sure to keep an eye on our blog and read some of our previous articles as well.

Essential Guide to the AIDA Model (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action)

Have you heard of the AIDA model, yet wondered what it was? We break it down into plain English, and show you examples of each of these steps, so you can try it yourself.

When writing copy for sales or action focus, you have to start by getting your readers' attention. That’s absolutely the first thing you need to do. You then need to grab and maintain their interest in your writing. Then, you need to create desire for your business, product or service. Eventually, you need the reader to take action. That all makes sense, right? Great! Because that's what the AIDA model is.

The AIDA model is a hierarchical model, which implies that a consumer will undertake a series of stages when they are making a purchase decision. It’s a linear model, with four simple steps. They call these cognitive, affective and behavioural stages as well. That means cognitive stage is attention, the affective (or feelings) stages are Interest and Desire and then finally the behavioural stage being Action.

So you've just learned the AIDA model. Now let's go through each of these four elements in detail, and review examples of how they are used. We’ll look at the history and some criticism of AIDA, and then wrap it all up.

Let’s get into it! Those four stages of the AIDA model, again, are;

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

Let’s look at each of these stages in detail.

Attention

How do you get attention? You can get attention with a headline, you can get attention with a great video, or you could even attract attention using some awesome image. Imagine a big neon sign stating 'It began as a mistake' like our image, above. 

Imagine a press advertisement; the big bold headline has to do the work of attracting attention. In an email, it’s the subject line. A website or landing page attracts attention with an engaging large title at the top.

It could be a headline or questions so usually asking a big question or stating some very bold claim. You can use it with curiosity, such as this banner advertisement by Docusign. You want to know those six strategies, don’t you? So do I. Using a single number and 6 words, and it’s got my undivided attention.

AIDA model in banner advertising
AIDA model in banner advertising

Another method is to run an image or footage that is bold and gets immediate attention. This could be just bold colour use, or an amazing photograph.

Another example could be an email subject line that is different to what people are used to. For example, something like “We probably shouldn’t tell you this” could be a great subject line. Assuming, of course, that the email content matches the subject.

Interest

Once you've got a person's attention, you then have to work to maintain their interest.

Imagine for a moment that you're flicking through a newspaper, and a headline catches your attention. Then if we're still interested, we start to read the first paragraph, and the first sentence is really boring and full of dull data or just isn't interesting, and you move on to another article.

That’s exactly how digital works in a way. For example, when we arrive on a landing page, we decide within 3-5 seconds if we’ll stick around. This is done through the design, layout and typically the opening paragraph of written content.

AIDA model in landing pages
AIDA model in landing pages

You want to make sure that you've captured their attention. However, to keep their attention your first few paragraphs need to be really interesting. You need to speak directly to your target person, and share with them something they are genuinely interested in.

This landing page from Velaro shown above is a great example of the AIDA model in action. The headline gets your attention, and then the statistic and 'this guide shows you how to' points drive your interest.

A good way to do this is to explain what the rest of the copy covers. Also use short sentences which gives the reader a sense of speed. For an article, it could be something like the first few paragraphs of this article.

An example for a reactivation email, could be something like “Rather than the usual Christmas crowds, we have something special for you. It includes fast delivery, no queues and a special discount just for you. Let me explain.”

Then your email explains the benefits of ecommerce shopping with your brand in more detail.

Desire

Once you’ve got their attention, gained their interest, you now need to spark their desire. There are a few different ways to create desire. To do this, you have to really push your businesses or products or services features and benefits.

AIDA model in ecommerce alerts
AIDA model in ecommerce alerts

This selling fast tag on some products within the frank body store does a great job of creating desire through scarcity. It's selling fast, so if I want this product, I better grab it now or I will miss out.

You want to share benefits and how this thing will change their life, or improve their work, or fix a problem. Say I’m promoting my local SEO services. Instead of getting bogged down in statistics or how we do local SEO, we need to focus on benefits.

“Attract more buyers in your local area, by being found on page one.” That’s a benefit.

Say you’ve written an article about making more business profits. You could state “Once you’ve finished this article, you're going to be ready to make more profit. Even if you pick just two of the methods in the 20 methods we discuss, you will be able to increase profits within a month”.

Another way to encourage desire in copy is to illustrate through actual results or improvements that others have seen. This could be a simple statistic like “82% of people who tried this product, bought it again within 4 weeks.”

Another way of improvements or results is through imagery; we all know that weight loss cliche, showing those dreaded before-and-after photographs. Even in many ads for cleaning products, where they show the dirty bathroom tiles and then the clean and sparkling tiles. Showing this kind of proof really helps build desire.

Action

The whole purpose of writing that blog post, designing that landing page, creating that video ad or sending that marketing email, is to encourage the audience to do something. That something could be purchasing your product, signing up to your email list, sending an email. There are plenty of actions we could encourage people to take.

One way to encourage action is to have a clear and obvious call to action. This is often a bright button with some action orientated copy in it. Examples of this button text are;

  • Sign up today
  • Free trial
  • Activate your membership
  • Get your discount

That sort of thing. Another action could be a form. In the case of a form, you want to ensure that you only collect absolutely necessary information, using the least amount of fields you can. There’s nothing worse than being asked 101 things just to purchase something online.

AIDA model in newsletter forms
AIDA model in newsletter forms

This newsletter subscribe form on the Tesla website is as simple as you can get. An email address. The action is clicking the very prominent Get Newsletter button.

Urgency or FOMO (fear of missing out) also works really well here. We are all guilty of buying a product that was on sale even though you didn't really need it. However, it was on sale and other people were probably going to buy it.

Other methods to encourage an urgency to purchase include stating ‘Available while stocks last’, or you could be even more precise, showing your inventory level ‘29 items remain’.

You can level up further by having a countdown timer for a sale or an offer. This really helps increase sales, because people feel like they're going to miss out. It's that fear of missing out that drives many sales online.

An argued history and criticism

There is some debate over the original creators of AIDA, however we do know it happened around the 1890’s. In 1893, New York advertising man, Joseph Addison Richards (1859–1928), wrote an advertisement for his business containing virtually all steps from the AIDA model,

Three of the AIDA steps appeared anonymously in the February 9, 1898, issue of Printers' Ink: "The mission of an advertisement is to sell goods. To do this, it must attract attention, of course; however attracting attention is only an auxiliary detail. The announcement should contain matters which will interest and convince after the attention has been attracted."

In any case, irrespective of who created it, the model is time tested and solid.

The model isn’t without some criticism either. A major deficiency of the AIDA model and other hierarchical models is the absence of post-purchase effects such as satisfaction, consumption, repeat patronage behaviour and other post-purchase behavioural intentions such as referrals or participating in the preparation of online product reviews

This proof is really important and for some reason, it was left out of this old formula. You need to often get people to believe your claims, because frankly there's so many websites and ads out there that use outrageous claims. So if you can back up your claims, and then prove those claims to be true, then your proof will further encourage people to purchase or take action.

Look for ways such as including customer testimonials, or even social proof, screengrabs of reviews such as Facebook reviews, Google reviews, etc. This can really help you build your brand or product authority.

In Summary

So that’s the basics of the AIDA model. First grab a persons attention through a headline, large image, bold design or something. Then use powerful opening statements to get and retain their interest. Build desire by explaining the benefits or features, and finally encourage action.

You can do all of that with pay per click advertising, email newsletters, landing pages, ecommerce product pages, and more. Just remember these four AIDA stages every time you prepare any marketing materials.

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

Thanks for reading all the way to the end, and seeing the AIDA model in action, through the writing of this article. All the best in trying it out for yourself!

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.

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