Monday, 2 November 2015

Nailing your Google Ad

Ever wondered what you're actually paying your Google Adwords provider to do?  Ever asked and then wondered what the heck the answer actually meant?

Search Engine Optimisation is a conversation I have pretty regularly.   While the industry tends to enjoy the air of mystery surrounding, it's actually all quite fair and straight-forward in essence.
Internet user searches + relevant quality websites = quality hits

Have a quality website. And have a well-written ad for users to find it. That'll do it.

SEO is simply the process of  linking those two elements. The better you do that; the better (and cheaper!) the results will be.

Of course, in practice, there is a bit of know-how and marketing savvy required.  I'm always happy to help with whatever level of input a client would like to have; from showing the ropes and providing guidance... to doing the whole show.  This video below by Google is by far the best explanation I've found for how Google Adwords is calculated and ranked.

If you're ready to invest a bit into getting more customer contact through your site, visit the SEO pages in my website for more info, or contact me.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Spare a Thought for Motel Owners...

The way you book online makes a huge differences
to small business. Go direct whenever you can.
And not just for the reasons you're probably guessing(!)

I'm lucky enough to have designed and built websites for a few clients in the accommodation business now, from Chinchilla to Ballina and in between.  Speaking with those clients, I get to understand a little more about their particular industry. And I learned something today that I thought I should probably share...

Independent hotel (and motel) owners are doing it tough lately.  Not only is the industry very competitive and seasonal, but it's also getting more expensive to run.

One of the biggest factors in this, is the influence of the large online-booking corporations (let's call one, "") which save consumers time by presenting a selection of accommodation choices, relieving the need to search and look at the choices individually.

These online booking corporations derive income from both advertising, and by a set commission payable by the motel upon bookings made. These commissions are often as high as 15%! That's a big slice of any businesses' profit.

To make matters worse, these booking corporations currently prohibit their subscribed businesses from listing a price lower than their advertised price.  This action (which arguably amounts to a form of price-fixing and is set to be challenged in the courts) restricts businesses in their ability to compete at a fair price for their services.

To unsubscribe from the big online-booking websites is not a simple choice for businesses either, because the big corporations' advertising and web-traffic levels means that small businesses will almost never beat them to the top of the Search Results.

The cost of convenience in this case is not borne by us as consumers, yet. The hotel pays it. But as the trend to use corporate booking websites increases, that cost will inevitably have to be shared and passed through.

So what can be done about it? 

Simple... next time you're looking to book online through one of those big advertised websites, take another moment to visit the actual website of the hotel (or motel) concerned.  You'll probably find they have their own online booking portal on there. You wouldn't pay any more than the discounts offered on If the hotel site price is higher, it probably just hasn't been updated yet (they've got a lot to do!) so just flick them an email or make a call asking for the price.  Chances are they'd be very glad to give it!

If you like this article, I urge you to consider sharing it.  It'll help to start making a significant difference to the hard working people in our tourism industry.

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Monday, 8 June 2015

Rabbit-proof your Data!

I wasn't asking for much; just a way of backing up my 100+ GB of data updated daily,  that is simple, reliable, automatic and cheap!

We’re all quite aware of what we stand to lose in the event of a hard-drive failure, so I won’t flap on about that. Except to suggest in my case, that the cost of re-doing clients’ artwork would cost my business dearly in terms of time lost, and client service capability.  So, I take my internet security and backup requirements pretty seriously.

That said, my backups in the past were never as frequent and secure as I’d have liked. 

Manual backups were time-costly and dependant on my organisational capabilities (which vary like anyone else's).

‘Automated’ local backups that I tried still needed to be set and run, and were still physically vulnerable anyway.

Cloud backups sounded like the answer.  However, finding one that suited me was not as easy as I'd hoped.  Many general cloud-data services sell themselves as a backup resource in their list of features, but they’re not all created equal.  And some will take a few coins too.  My first experience with a paid-service proved buggy and frustrating. Thankfully I never needed to use it in urgency.

Eventually though, I found something I feel is worthy of sharing… CrashPlan.

And not a moment too soon...!

At the start of April I noticed my PC was running a little slower and the Hard-drive was whirring a little more than it should.

Instead of shutting down that evening, I left the PC run and do the automatic backup I’d set.

I got the old thing going ok next day, but not without Uncle Bill’s popup telling me that failure of the hard-drive was imminent, and I should perform a backup now.  I followed this advice, attempting to create a disc-image to conveniently restore my system later (to the new hard-drive I was about to go in search of).

Guess what. The hard-drive was too far gone and Windows couldn't do the backup image.  If it hadn’t been for the automated CrashPlan backup, the impact to me, my business and my clients would have been detrimental to say the least.

With over 100GB of current work, it took a while (like a couple of days) to restore. But sure enough, it all downloaded exactly as it was supposed to. (A bit like Pro-Computers, but they took 10 days! Tell them I said-so if you’re in there!)

So, my tip of the week... CrashPlan
Back to Lime Dezign

Friday, 29 May 2015

Job Description - Web Designer - P/T

Job brief

Lime Dezign is growing and needs a part-time or casual web-designer to come on board and keep things moving as smooth and fast as clients have come to expect.

The job will involve work on a variety of website tasks including design, construction, configuration and troubleshooting.

The position will ideally suit someone with creative drive, good experience and communication skills, who wants to work on a casual or part-time basis with the opportunity to work either in a small team environment or from their own location.


  • Correctly interpret design briefs and generate suitable design concepts
  • Work with a wide range of web technology and use web design software applications
  • Create websites to current web standards and SEO compliance
  • Conduct Keyword Research and implement Web Marketing strategies
  • Use professional design processes to create outstanding designs and layouts
  • Prepare rough drafts and present design concepts to professional standard
  • Amend final designs to clients comments and gain full approval
  • Work as part of a team with copywriters, designers, stylists, executives etc.
  • Deliver work in line with an agreed time-frame and budget
  • Work unsupervised and maintain efficient workflow
  • Trouble-shoot and maintain website functionality
  • Maintain website security


  • Demonstrated experience in web design (preferred minimum of 2 years)
  • Demonstrated creative flair, originality, versatility, conceptual/visual ability
  • Demonstrated web design skills with a strong portfolio
  • Ability to interact, communicate and present ideas effectively
  • Currency with industry leading software and developer tools including FTP clients, code editors, cPanel, Google developer tools, as well as Adobe Illustrator,  Photoshop,  etc
  • Currency with a range of Website platforms such as Joomla, Wordpress, Opencart, etc
  • Sound ability in current web technologies including HTML, CSS, PHP
  • High level of proficiency in all design aspects
  • Professionalism regarding time, costs and deadlines


Rates are negotiable and will reflect the experience and proficiency of the successful applicant.


Interested? Email me at or call 0415 947 832.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

"End of the World" for Desktop'ers?

Well, today was the day! 21st of April... Google's "DEADLINE TO GET YOUR SITE RESPONSIVE..." (insert screams of terrified panic).

At least, that's been the buzz around the internet for the past 2 months or so (mostly sprouted by people who, like me, build websites for a living).

What are they even talking about?

With so much internet access by small-screen devices now, as well as widescreen desktop monitors, it has become quite important to provide viewers with a website that they can read and use easily regardless of their screen size. Mobile-Friendly is what we're on about here.

Google's latest changes simply mean that search results will now be optimised for the device being used to submit the search. So a search sent from a smart-phone will return relevant results that feature websites that are optimised for smart-phone viewing.

So is it fair-dinkum or what? 

Well,  yes. But it's by no means the "End of the World" if you're yet to update your site. Different businesses will be affected in different ways.  For example; hotels and restaurants that rely on mobile enquiries will need to comply as soon as possible in order to avoid a drop in traffic.  It should be noted though, that such businesses without a mobile-friendly website would have already been disadvantaged before the changes, because mobile users would have moved on anyway (because your website display was too small and hard to read).

Other industries that tend to receive enquires via desktop workstations will be affected to a much lesser degree.

How can I tell if my site is Device-Responsive?

Responsive Website Design (RWD) helps keep your viewer
engaged, and your ranking in Google for mobile searches.
Looking it up on your phone or tablet is really the only sure-fire way to tell (remember to turn around to check both orientations). There are various online 'test' services available, but they don't all work for every type of responsive site setup.

If your website is built after 2012, it's very likely to feature responsive template design anyway. Not all templates are created equal though. Some of the earlier versions were a little clunky and may not manage image resizing very well (or at all).

What's it going to cost you?

If your site is one that needs updating to comply and get device-responsive, there are a several ways to go about it. A relatively simple software-generated 'copy & conversion' for a few hundred dollars will work for many "old" html sites without changing anything.

If your website is a CMS like Wordpress or Joomla!, then a version upgrade of your website-platform with a new template will not only solve the responsive requirement, but your site will get great new modern look and feel too. And it might only cost a few hundred dollars as well.

To find out exactly what options there are for your website, shoot me an email or call me on 0415947832.

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Friday, 2 January 2015

2015. Primed and ready.

I made my last new-years resolution at around the end of October 2012.  I figured it was a big task so getting a head-start would be a smart move.

What was it? Well, it was to get Lime Dezign systemised ready for growth in the coming year whilst my youngest was trotting off to his first year of school in 2014.

How did I go? Well, as things happened, 2013 (and 2014) gave me more to contend with than just my own resolutions.  At times I felt discouraged about my lack of achievement for the goals I'd set.  I did get a significant portion of my resolution-tasks done, but not nearly enough to see the results I was chasing. Of the tasks I did complete, some proved unsuccessful. The effort needed to keep my resolve was becoming greater, and at times my energy ran very low.

I actually got to the point where I applied for an advertised position, and was selected as the preferred applicant. But when I considered the real costs and benefits along with the voice inside, I realised I had to have faith and keep going. At least for now.  That same week, new work came my way. And with a renewed perspective I was back on the growth plan.

My connection and committment to MADDEL has also been challenging and (at times) disruptive to the goals I've set myself.  That said, it is no less important in my mind. It is just another factor that I need to allow for in the realisation of my goals.

One thing I am very encouraged about, is the test-of-time I seem to have satisfied. I'm still going. I am making progress on all fronts. Slowly perhaps, but surely. This blog is a small part of that.

Looking to the recent past and present, I also realise many of my circumstances that may appear as adversity have also been the very things that have enabled me to keep going.  With that understanding, I can look more clearly to see the things I need to change to acheive the future I'm wanting to build.

So I want to wish you success beyond every challenge that lays in the path of any resolutions you have made... whenever they were!

Peace, joy, blessings and prosperity to you. Happy 2015!