HTTPS Now a Must for Websites

Google wants everything on the web to be travelling over a secure channel. That’s why from January 2017, your Chrome browser will flag un-encrypted websites as insecure, displaying a red “x” over a padlock in the URL bar.

With this upcoming change in Chrome, Google makes it clear that all sites should all be encrypted, in other words, should be served over HTTPS, which is essentially a secure layer on top of the usual HTTP web protocol.

“The goal is to clearly display to web users that
HTTP provides no data security.”

HTTP has been used to carry the information passed back and forth between you and the websites you visit. However, using HTTP is like sending a postcard, anyone who handles it can see what's written on it. The solution to this is to use HTTPS instead, which wraps the insecure HTTP connection in a secure encrypted stream called SSL (Secure Socket Layer).

Enabling SSL on your website is like putting the postcard in a safe with a secret combination known only to you and the website you're visiting. This means that anyone in the middle that is handling your data can only pass it on, they cannot read it. In order for this to work the website must be able to verify its identity, which is what an SSL Certificate does.

This isn't the first time that Google has taken steps to encourage site owners to switch to HTTPS. Two years ago, Google made some changes to its search engine algorithm to rank websites that use encrypted HTTPS connections higher in search results.

HTTPS will provide the following advantages:

HTTPS will provide the following advantages:
  • Security to all websites and pages regardless of content
  • Search engine optimisation benefits on Google (help with higher rankings)
  • Mitigate known vulnerabilities such as SSLstrip and Firesheep
  • Provide browser user privacy
  • Higher trust indication with a green lock icon

 

With proper installation of an SSL certificate, the “not secure” warning will disappear and be replaced by a green lock icon, assuring web visitors that your site is secure.

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How Cre8ive More than Doubled a Client’s Revenue in only a Year

Client: Airport Parking Provider

Business Type: Short or long term airport parking

Client Brief:
An Airport Parking Provider offering short and long-term airport parking for cars and large vehicles. Prior to Cre8ive’s involvement, the Provider had a template website and no online booking system. They engaged Cre8ive to develop and design their website, expand their customer reach and increase the number of bookings.

Our Solution:

  • Create a customised website with a 24/7 online booking system and Google Analytics setup for comprehensive monitoring
  • Develop a Google AdWords campaign targeting searches for “car parking” and “campervan parking” to maximise their capacity
  • Ensure correct geotargeting to not waste budget on irrelevant audiences
  • To carefully craft numerous text ads along with 175 selectively chosen keywords and negative keywords
  • Add ad extensions to increase online traffic on their Booking, Rates and Location pages
  • Tailor ads to both desktop and mobile formats to target customers on specific devices
  • Establish goals and e-commerce tracking

Outstanding Results:
The client was very satisfied with their easy-to-manage booking system, requiring less hands-on time for them. Our targeted campaign has reached up to an incredible 12.5% click-through rate. To put this in perspective, Google’s average click-through rate on AdWords paid search ads is only 2%. With an average ad position of 1.4, our Airport Parking Provider Ads are predominantly displayed at the top of search results.

Comparing the year prior to the Google AdWords campaign in place, their total revenue significantly increased by 123%!

If you want Cre8ive to take on the challenge of increasing your business by managing your Google AdWords account - learn more about our Google AdWords management services or get our FREE Google Adwords guide.  Get in touch with us today for your free estimate. Call 03 474 1075.

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What NZ Can Learn From Switzerland to Encourage More Chinese Tourists

With the booming Chinese economy and Chinese tourism on the rise, tourist industries across the world are scrambling to find innovative ways to appeal to this significant market.

TrekkSoft recently interviewed Simon Bosshart, the Director of Global Accounts and the Director for Asia Pacific for Switzerland Tourism, and revealed important lessons to be learned from Switzerland’s tourist industry. According to Bosshart, “The Chinese are what we call highlight customers.” Meaning, “they prefer going to well-known cities and visiting famous attractions; and aren't as keen to discover hidden gems like the Europeans.” Regardless of that, Bosshart says “the Chinese are extremely curious and are willing to learn about a new destination” and that they are “also a lot less active in terms of outdoor sports.

Given this information, many would assume Swiss cities would be an unlikely destination for Chinese tourists, considering it’s a small and scenic country buried in the Alps. However, due to a few changes in the tourism industry over the last 10 years and their plans to improve in the coming years, Switzerland has made significant progress in appealing to Chinese tourists and is expected to continue to do so.

Bosshart divulged that the first and most important change they made was to get individual businesses online since the “growing trend towards online business and online booking facilities” has proved to be favourable for Swiss tourist companies. With most businesses online now, it is easier for people from across the world to find and book a service. To raise their profile even more, businesses can promote themselves on Chinese social media platforms like Weibo, QZone and Tencent QQ. Research has shown that this can be a tourist company’s most valuable tool since China has the largest population in the world that uses social media – about 600 million (as of 2015). Advertising your website on platforms such as these, especially when your website is translated into Mandarin, can be extremely beneficial to attracting the Chinese tourist.

Another strategy Bosshart is encouraging Switzerland to take, is to work together as a destination, to drive larger visitor numbers. Bosshart recommends doing this by bundling services together and distributing it on one specific channel. For example, when most travellers make their first attempt at skiing, they could first go to a tourism office to learn about it. But then there’s the questions of where find to the right equipment, the best prices, what type of ski pass to get and how to find the right ski instructor. By bundling these services together and making a variety of package deals, the process is simplified and tourists will be more likely to book a skiing trip.

Dunedin-Otago-Peninsula
Monarch Wildlife boat seen here with the lighthouse at Royal Albatross Colony.

To boost business popularity amongst Chinese tourists, it is also advised that you market yourself to appear as a well-known company since “Chinese customers also value big brand names and prestige.” Offering luxury add-ons to a package trip might be worth considering.

To tailor a package deal to the Chinese market, the tourist industry might want to combine activities with premium features or add-ons. Dunedin’s Otago Peninsula is a great example of where tourist operators could work together to provide a high-end tourist experience catered specially to the Chinese market. For example, a helicopter flight to start the journey landing on the Otago Peninsula, exclusive tours of the Royal Albatross Colony, Historic Fort Taiaroa and a private viewing of the Little Blue Penguins. Rather than a bus, a fleet of luxury classic cars could transport the visitors to ideal viewing spots before being taken to New Zealand’s only castle for an exclusive tourism experience. To complete the trip, a 3 course dining experience at Glenfalloch Gardens & Restaurant, showcasing fresh, local produce.

Another tip from Bosshart is rather than changing your business to accommodate the majority of Chinese tourists, it is more useful to focus on specific markets since the Chinese market is so large. For instance, although Chinese tourists are known to travel in large groups, Swiss companies have stayed true to their ways and continued to specialise in small group activities. As a result, they are more likely to secure a booking with those 30-35% of Chinese travellers who prefer free, independent travel.

Finding a way to be unique from other tourist companies and regions is a proven marketing strategy. From a tourist’s perspective, subtle differences in products and services can often seem too similar to differentiate, which can leave them confused about which to choose. This is why it is essential for businesses to highlight their specialties. Ask yourself, “What does my activity or destination have that is different from others?” If you can’t easily answer this question, you may want to rethink your marketing strategy.

Bosshart says Switzerland’s tourism industry, specifically among the Chinese Market, has grown and is enroute to more successful seasons.

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Understanding Facebook’s Newsfeed

Our Director, Philippa Crick, did a presentation to the tourism group Dunedin Host at the end of May, on how tourism businesses can use social media better for improved Return of Investment.
Watch this short clip from the presentation, that explains more about how the Newsfeed works in Facebook.

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Video Works

Are you unsure if video will help your business? You need to take a look at these revealing statistics.
By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. Video-on-demand traffic alone will have almost trebled.

Video Works on Facebook

A 2014 study of more than 72,000 Facebook pages revealed that video generates the most engagement among various formats, with photos coming in second.
Between 2013 and 2014, the number of Facebook video plays grew an enormous 785%, with engagements also growing 25% during the same period. In 2015, Facebook video views were topping three billion-a-day.

Video Works with Professionals

Research shows how the use of videos gets results not only for consumers but also business executives. (Forrester)

  • of Senior Executives watch more video now than they did a year ago
  • of Executives would rather watch a video than read an article
  • of Executives watch work-related videos every week
  • of Executives have visited a vendor's site after watching a video

Videos Work with Email Marketing

Using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line

  • Video-Gets-Results
  • 1 of the TOP 31 of the TOP 3 most effective social media marketing tactics, according to B2B and B2C marketers
  • Marketing professionals worldwide say video gets the best Return On Investment (ROI)
  • of mobile video viewers share videos with others. Source
  • of viewers will watch a video until the end that is less than 1 min long.

Video is the future of content marketing. If a picture paints 1,000 words then 1 minute of video is worth 1.8 million, so say Forrester's researchers. If you aren't taking advantage of this marketing tool, you should start planning now on how to integrate it into your marketing strategy.

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What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing is the creation of unique content such as blog posts and videos relating to your products and services. This content should be engaging to draw in your target demographic, directing traffic to your website and customers to your business. Content Marketing is a great way to stand out from your competitors and connect with your customers in a creative and meaningful way.

Content Marketing Explained in Video

Watch our short video which easily explains content marketing.

 

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Logo and Brand Difference

Difference between a Logo and a Brand: Does it Really Matter?

A brand is the most important marketing tool used by an organisation to differentiate itself from competitors.

There are tangible and intangible parts of your brand. The logo is the tangible part - a recognisable design element, often including a name, symbol and specified colours. The brand encompasses the logo, positioning, messaging and communications, personality, voice, marketing and the experience any individual has with the business, product or service online, offline or in person.

It’s the Perception created inside the mind of staff, stake-holders and customers based on what they see, hear, feel and experience about your company. These emotions are based on messages you send out at all levels, including, but not exclusively, your logo. For example, how does your perception change when we compare these logos:

BMW    the-warehouse


The Warehouse instantly conjures up lots of bargins or cheap goods. On the other hand, BMW you will probably think of quality, prestigious vehicles. Beyond that though, seeing a logo triggers how you feel about a company and what they provide.

A successful brand has a higher value to a consumer than its competition and can often command a premium price for its products or services.

A strong brand creates a sense of security among consumers.
They’re more comfortable with an existing, established brand, are more likely to trust it, buy it, and tell their friends about it.  It brand extensions within the same category a leg up on the competition because the awareness marketing of the brand is already done.

A strong brand boosts new product awareness and credibility.
If your brand launches into a new market where it’s a new player, you can leverage the power of your brand in other markets where consumers may already be familiar with its reputation.

A strong brand can help the human resources department attract top talent.
Many prospective employees can be tempted by the prospect of working for a company that owns well-known brands.   Much of it is a prestige move, because people like to be associated with the market leader or a reputable organisation.

Ideally your customers should associate your brand with some aspects of your core values or philosophy. If you think of Greenpeace or Amnesty International, fighting for the environment or people should be front-of-mind.

So yes, a brand and a logo are different and the differences matter. Think of it this way. A logo all by itself is just a graphic element with a name. A brand is the communications strategy that helps you communicate your passion and expertise.

Case Study: Branding Works
Sometimes businesses need to breathe new life into their products/services and decide to rebrand and relaunch. Take NTL for example. Their reputation was one of poor customer service and an unreliable product. In 2006 NTL took over Virgin Media and gaining rights to the Virgin brand was a major factor in the near 20% premium the company paid above the mobile firm's stock market valuation.

Rebranded with the established and trusted Virgin insignia and business took off. Same product, same staff, same office, same service! In addition, the flow on effect of better business lead to an increase in staff morale and motivation – which in turn lead to more business success!

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Googles Big Mobile Update

Is your Business Ready for Google’s Big Mobile Update?

Google is constantly rolling out new algorithms that affect website rankings and they have now included ‘mobile-friendliness’ as a ranking factor in response to the growth of searches performed on mobile/tablet devices.

What does this mean for your Website?

If your website is not readable on smartphones and other mobile devices it risks being penalised or down-ranked.

From 21 April 2015, responsive websites will benefit from the mobile-friendly algorithm update after Google has crawled their site and noted the change.

If you want to get your website smartphone optimised and multiple-device friendly, then you may have to have your website rebuilt. However, you should consider this as a critical investment in your website and not as a cost. Traffic to websites from smartphones and tablet computers is increasing to high levels, doubling year-on-year.

Here at Cre8ive, we specialise in websites that are optimised for mobile devices using Responsive Design. Contact us if you are concerned about your site Email or phone 03 474 1075.

Is your site mobile-friendly? You can check here: mobile friendly website check

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What Mistakes are you Making in your Headlines?

Only a small percentage of viewers will read your blog post or article. As our time is scarce, we only want to invest in articles that will bring value to our lives  - personal or business. In order to get the viewer to click on your tweet, Facebook post or link from a search, follow these nine guidelines to increase your click-through-rate.

  1. Plan Your Headline: this is where the majority of your time writing the blog should be spent. Ensure it will resonate with your target market.
  2. Quality not Quantity: Focus on value rather than length.
  3. Use numbers: Headlines containing numbers tend to outperform other types of headlines. Use a low number to illustrate a concise blog or a higher one to emphasis an in-depth article. Oddly, odd numbers.
  4. Build a list of interesting adjectives such as Effortless Painstaking Incredible Essential Strange which will help grab the reader’s attention
  5. Try to create original content and use case studies and data to help illustrate your points.
  6. Experiment with trigger words such as: what, why, how, or when. But don’t use a number with a trigger word. Using action words (verbs) is also a good tactic.
  7. Arouse Curiosity: Headlines with questions can be effective but never to ask a question that your reader can answer “no“ to. Similarly, if you answer the question in the headline, there is no need for people to read the article!
  8. Made a valuable promise: what the reader will learn in only a few minutes that will be incredible useful?
  9. Say NO to Positive Superlatives: A study by Outbrain found the average click through rate on headlines containing negative superlatives such as “never” or “worst,” surprisingly performed 63% better than those containing positives, like “always” or “best”. It also showed that having a positive superlative under-performed compared to no superlative at all. Words such as best, fastest, cheapest have been overused causing readers to switch off. However, negative terms are more likely to interpreted as authentic and genuine.

The headline is your showstopper – get this right and your article will actually be read and hopefully shared!

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