Monday, 24 October 2016

Just Launched: New Online Printing Website - Nprint

Congratulations to Neil & Jo at NPrint on the successful launch of their brand new Online Print Shop!

And while I'm blowing trumpets I should acknowledge that, yes, I'm blowing my own too (because I designed and built it). Though launched only last week the new is already on page one of Google for "printer sunshine coast".  Do take a second to pop that search and have click in through a few pages for a look.

I was also NPrint Online's first customer, submitting an order for 3 plans in A1 colour which went through easily without a hitch.

While Neil and I are in the same game in terms of design, we do share a few customers and I'm glad to promote his business too. Huzzah!

Friday, 21 October 2016

New SEO & Adwords Packages

I've noticed a distinct increase this year, in requests for improved positioning within the Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). As more business operators realise how crucial their website has become in terms of generating business, so too has the demand for cost-effective online marketing. 

And of course as a web designer, I'm inevitably drawn deeper into the need; Learning much in the ways of both technical understanding, and from the ways of others; client experiences and industry players (and some certainly are players).

So after much promising on how I've been soon-to-develop a set of well priced Search Marketing packages: Here they are...

Friday, 29 July 2016

Sued over Copyright! :(

Yes. I've checked this one. It's ok!
Yes it's true. I am currently facing a civil action for using a small portion of a rights-managed image which I honestly (and not unreasonably) believed to be free to use. 

But the reason I'm sharing this not out of self pity. It is because in my rather literal crash-course in copyright vulnerability, I've discovered a few things that not just designers, but anyone using social media will need to be very aware of.

To oversimplify a bit; images from the internet are not free to use and share unless there is a licence that says so, or you are the owner/creator.

Commercial stock image libraries charge a lot of money for some of images they manage.  And with the explosion of digital media in recent years, so much content has been uploaded and shared without restraint. Now with current detection software, these companies are having a field day reaping a fortune from unwary designers,  website owners, bloggers and wait for it... Tweeters! (or anyone using social media)

Even partial images are searchable and still carry liability for use.

and Meme's...

In my case, I deliberately sought free-to-use images in order to save a client some cost. But my checks didn't go far enough. It turned out that the very public source from where I obtained the image didn't have the right to display it either. Unfortunately, honest mistakes do not absolve liability.  At present I'm looking at a personal cost of $1400 with the image taken down. 

The technology being used by photographers and stock image libraries means that anyone accidentally using a rights-protected image will at some stage be detected with certainty. The scary part is how hard it can be to be sure of our own compliance in the first place. Be aware of the copyright licence status of any image you are considering to use, anywhere.

Here are a few things I've learned in my journey which may help steer clear of a similar strife;

 1. Most images found online will be either;
  • Free to use (conditions may apply)
  • Royalty Free: Image licence purchased for a flat one-off fee (or by subscription)
  • Rights Managed:
    • Image licensing varies according to use.
    • Costs are often in excess of $1000 for one year for a website image.
  • Unknown: Considering point c. above... If in doubt, leave it out.

 2. One way to find an image that is free to use or share:

  1. Enter the search term and click on the Images tab. In this example it’s “panda”.

  2. In the Images results, click on the gear icon to access Advanced Search.

    *I’ve pixelated the results because without knowing the licence status of each image I could be sued for unauthorised use... even while warning others about unauthorised use! Crazy but true.
  3. In the Advanced Search, click on the drop-down for Usage Rights and select the appropriate licence you need. Then click the Advanced Search button at the bottom of the screen. 
  4. Check the images listed are subject to the use searched for. Click on the desired image to open it and find the option to View Image. 

    Right-click and Save As to download.

3. To check copyright on an image you already have. 

This can be a little tricky. The results are often inconclusive. However if the image is one featured in a stock library, a reverse-search can help to easily find where a licence may be purchased.

To perform a reverse-search via Google Images, follow these steps:

  1. In the top-right of your Google search screen, select Images.
  2. Click on the camera icon to open the search option fields.
  3. Select the Upload an image tab and browse to select  the relevant image file on your computer.  Google will match all instances of the image and of similar images found.

Remember, just because it isn’t found or isn’t listed with a commercial image library, it does not mean that copyright does not exist elsewhere. If in doubt leave it out.

If you have doubts or concerns about an image you already have posted somewhere online, it's probably wise to remove/replace/license it as soon as possible. If you have concerns about liability from images previously shared and no longer in your control, professional legal advice may be warranted.

visit my website

Monday, 16 May 2016

Page 1 of Google... The Crowd Goes Wild!

I'd like to thank Photoshop, and Troy Bayliss...
Well today's the day it happened! Check it out... Search websites sunshine coast and there I am on page 1 of Google SERPs. (Search Engine Results Pages)

It was last November when I realised just how much exposure I was missing out on. I was getting good results for you guys, my clients and friends, but my own marketing was still something I was "getting around to". Then it hit me like a brick, when I analysed my SERP position for those same keywords and found I was back as far as page 12 (ie. effectively not even able to be found).

So I started working on my content, sharpening it up and weaving in those keywords. Within a short time, I was up around page 3, improving further to page 2. A very big improvement, but not yet where I needed to be. I left things for a couple of months to focus on my new project (Budget Pro Websites), coming back to my SEO only this past week. I'd slipped from a few page 2's back to page 3. NO WAY!!! I spent 4 hours yesterday, pulling out all the stops... and today... there it is.

How many users actually search beyond page 1? Not many, it seems.  In my searching, I only do it if I'm not happy with the first listings I find. And that might happen only 1 time out of every 10 searches. Applying this rough method of reckoning, it translates that by gaining a page 1 SERP position, I should experience a 10-fold increase in traffic to my site for "organic" searches (the basic Google listings... not the the paid Ads).

Page 1 is great. But my current position (#10) is still a way from position #1. Am I popping the cork too early? Maybe. Maybe not. Every racer goes for pole. But really, anyone in the top 10 has a good chance at grabbing a podium.  Certainly, the top 10 are the ones the spectators and sponsors are fixed on.

Hopefully from here, new users finding will engage well with it and further confirm its relevance. At that point, I'm at the front of the race, to stay.

I know many of you are looking to get more enquiries for your business. A page-one result in web design is probably the second-toughest field of competition there is (the toughest of course being dedicated SEO). So if I can do it for Lime Dezign, doing it for your business should be easy by comparison! 

Give me a call or shoot me an email 

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Website Packages - Ordered Online

The cost of a website is mostly dependent on the time it takes to build.  For years, many small business owners have had to compromise between the website they want and the website they can afford.

Click the image for video and more info.
Competition for online exposure via the web and in Social Media is now more intense than ever. A high quality website is an absolute must. And so is at least a certain amount of online advertising.

For small businesses in the start-up phase, slow cash-flow can mean that the website is left until later or done DIY, usually at the detriment to the rate of growth.

Having a very intimate understanding of this challenge myself, I saw a clear need to offer a quality website in the low price bracket. The problem was that every business is different, and every website needs to reflect that difference. And a custom design requires a certain amount of time.

The solution to this problem: A high quality, extendable website package that is easily affordable as a complete build, and a downright bargain if a customer is happy to prepare their own content.

So here it is: The Budget Pro Website package.

Lime Dezign's Budget Pro Website online shop enables customers to click through, adding their selected options to a shopping cart and uploading any necessary files/notes as they go. The base price for a website is a low $379, and a full package complete with absolutely everything including domain registration, hosting, image sourcing, copy writing and Xpress logo design will only cost $1213.

The Budget Pro website is not something that will suit every business, but for simple businesses and small start-ups it's a God-send.

Built on the Wordpress platform, it's easy to use and manage with just basic computer skills. It's also mobile responsive.  And it's future-proof with updates, extensions and a huge range of alternative themes.

If you know someone who needs a website and may be delayed with time or cost, share this with them. It's probably just the boost they need to get things going!

Here's the link;

PS. Let me know what you think of the videos... Especially if you don't like them! Seriously. :)

Friday, 4 March 2016

Right Side Ads: Gone, Baby Gone!

Change is hard to embrace a lot of the time, hey!  As a web designer, and provider of SEO and Online Advertising advice and services, I should be loving it. But love's a strong word... : j

Never-the-less, when I look at the history of Google's changes, I do readily concede that despite inconvenient disruption to the new ways I've just become comfortable with, they have made things better.

But today, it's different... I love err, like this change!  Recently, more than one client has asked me how get their Right-Side Ads up to the top positions.  To which the answer was either increasing bids or improving relevance quality on keywords.  Now the side Ads are gone (except maybe for the odd corporate application) so they can only appear in the larger main column. Ha! Job done! ?

Well, nearly... not quite;  While all Ads now enjoy a wider format with more info and better link options, the relevance quality and ad settings are still important to keep the Ad position high (in the top 4) and costs down (more clicks for less cash).

So why has Google done it?

  1. Mobile device browsing is rapidly approaching 50% across the board. In which case the side Ads would wrap down below anyway. And...
  2. Studies show that around 85% of  Ad clicks come from the top listings.

So, for those of you advertising; enjoy the main stage and keep an eye on your clicks.  And give me a call if you'd like to have a look at optimising your Adwords to get more clicks for your coin.

If you haven't considered Pay-per-click advertising for your business yet, now is certainly a good time.