Category Archives: Web Design & Development

Web design in Brisbane including information about brochure websites, CMS websites and ecommerce web site development.

Characteristics of well built website for SEO

So what exactly is a well built website and how do you know if yours fits the bill? My clients will have often heard me talking about a ‘well built website’ as a critical step in gaining visibility online.  A quick review of your website will show whether your digital asset has what it takes.  As a website owner you will have control over the following which are the first places we look when taking on the redevelopment or management of a new website.

First of all, take a look at your link structure.  Your top level navigation and the way the pages on your website are linked together is important.  This is called your site architecture.  Links deliver signals of importance so the structure of this is useful when you are trying to tell Google what’s important.

Content that matches the search phrases you are targeting needs to be on the page.  Whilst we are slowly moving towards voice search,  text is still the key input for search engines.  We want to see content that is structured with appropriately coded headings, paragraphs and link text.

Page titles and descriptions immediately tell us if the site owner is using best practice for SEO.  These off-the-page items on your website deliver key information to Google and need to be crafted in a way that satisfies the needs of the person viewing search results.

These three aspects if handled correctly will make a difference.  If you decide to engage with an SEO company whether it be for advertising, website optimisation or social campaigns, having a well built website lowers costs and ensures you get the attention you deserve.

Small Business Website Basics

If you’re thinking about getting a business website but have no idea where to start read on to find out what the basic requirements are.  The topics covered below are:

Web Content & Research
Web Development
Domain Names
Web Hosting
Internet Access
Website Promotion
Site Management
Business Integration
Measures Of Success

Web Content & Research

Will you develop content or ask someone to do it for you? The most important part of a website is it’s content. Back in 2002 when Creative Mode was just starting out, the saying was ‘Content is King’ and today that is still true. What do you want to communicate? Think about the goals of your website, think about your reasons for being online and what will really interest your intended audience. If you don’t feel confident about developing your own content ask someone to do it for you and keep in mind that it may need adjustment for web delivery. We have a number of copywriters with diverse style to assist you if you need help with content.

Web Design & Development

Who will design, develop and maintain your website? Take your idea’s to someone who can provide options to design, code and then maintain your website. Ask lots of questions and ask for a quote and an estimated timeframe for completion. The possibilites are often great, but the reality is going to depend on your budget. If you have a budget, make it clear right from the start to avoid wasting time on proposals you can’t afford. Choose someone who has the skills and experience building the kind of website you want, ask to see examples and make sure you feel 110% comfortable with your choice of web developer. It’s not always easy for clients to explain something that hasn’t yet taken form. This reason alone makes a good relationship very important. Understanding your vision and turning it into reality requires a good measure of discussion and feedback to find the best solution.

A Domain Name for your Website

Your domain name is your unique web address and it’s primarily used to find your website. It is also a valuable tool for developing your brand. Here’s an example of a domain name: There are rules governing who can register domain names and you are required to provide information about your business when you make your domain name application. The extension on the end defines the type of domain name. For example, ‘.au’ is reserved for Australian business so any domain name that ends with .au will be a registered Australian business. You don’t need to own a website to register a domain name – you can simply register your domain to reserve it for future use. This is called ‘domain parking’.

Web Hosting

Your website pages need to be stored on a computer that is connected to the internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that people can access them. This is the service your ‘web host’ provides and the computer that stores your pages is commonly referred to as a ‘server’. The cost of web hosting is usually based on the following: the amount of storage space your website pages will require; whether you share a server with other websites or have your own dedicated server (shared hosting is the norm for small business websites); the speed of the service; and the type of services available on the server for processing your web pages (eg. the ability to process scripts or handle database programming). If your site is extremely popular there may be extra charges based on the amount of traffic your site attracts so you would need to consider this when choosing a web hosting plan. Web hosting packages usually include some great management tools such as website statistics reporting and a control panel for setting up your own email addresses but this will vary depending on the web host you choose. There is sometimes an initial setup cost for web hosting and then ongoing fee’s are billed on a monthly or yearly basis.

Internet Access

It goes without saying that you will need a reliable internet connection to respond to any email enquiries from your website. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) primarily sells access to the world wide web. In the past this has most commonly been a ‘dial-up connection’ to the internet with a free email account attached. There are now many more options available. An ISP will often provide a variety of other services such as website hosting, domain name registration and even basic website development. There are many ISP’s to choose from and the costs will vary depending on the type of service you choose. This is a good time to start thinking about who has access to the internet within your organisation. Internet access is essential if you are going to properly service your website enquiry’s.

Website Promotion

How will you tell people about your website and encourage visitors? Here are a few common options. Add your web and email address to business cards, letterhead and any printed brochures or advertising you have in place. Talk about your website with your customers whenever you do business. Register your site with search engines and directory’s so that you can be found online. Ask for links from other sites with the same target audience as yours – this can encourage traffic to your website. If you are in an extremely competitive industry you might also consider paid online advertising options such as ‘Pay Per Click’ services. Email marketing and social media marketing can be very effective also. Your choice and the effectiveness of different marketing options will vary depending on who your target audience is, what your individual website goals are and the industry that you operate in.

Web Site Management

Websites need maintenance such as updates to keep them relevent and occasional technical maintenance that requires liason with your web host. Within the first few months especially, it is likely you will need to fine tune a few things based on the responses you are getting from visitors. Website statistics (even the basic packages provided by web hosting services) can report on information such as which pages are the most popular, how many visitors does your site attract, who provides the most referrals to your site and more. If you make changes in response to this information you can tailor your website better, to specifically meet the needs of your visitors and thereby improve the effectiveness of your website. Your options for site maintenance will depend on the technical skill available within your organisation and the services available from your web developer. If your site will require a significant amount of updating (eg. real estate listings require daily updates) you might want to invest more in the beginning to have a content management system developed. This allows staff to easily update information via an interface that be quite simple depending on the system you use. If your site is fairly basic the maintenance costs will be minimal. You really need to carefully asess your needs here.

Business Integration

I cannot count the number of times I have made an online enquiry and received either no response, or, a response a week later. Something else that happens often: I call a company about a product I’ve seen online and the person I talk to has no idea what is on their website. This is not an ideal situation. If you’re online, you must integrate your website into your business. Show the site to your staff, explain how it works and why it’s there. If you have website promotions, make sure everyone is given details. Set up standard procedures to manage enquiries from, or about, your website. Treat email enquiries with the same priority you give a phone call and don’t delay responding for more than a day if possible. Not every staff member has internet access? You can at the very least provide a quick training session so they’ve at least seen the site.

Measures Of Success

Website statistics (even the basic packages provided by web hosting services) can help you to measure the effectiveness of your website and provide valuable information for market research. This is the key to improved performance. If you usually advertise offline, use your web statistics reports to guage the response to offline marketing campaigns such as a mail out. How? If you include additional information on your site and reference this in your offline material, you can usually see increased visits to your site, specific to pages about the product or service you advertised. After a few of these

Domain Name Registration

Where can you buy a .au domain name?

There are two types of domain name sellers. It’s up to YOU to decide who you want to buy your domain name from and how you want it managed.

Buy from a Registrar

auDA authorises a number of companies to sell domain names in Australia. These are called ‘Accredited Registrars’. You can view a list of these on the auDA website.

Buy from a Reseller

Resellers are authorised by the registrars under a reseller agreement. Resellers (eg. your web developer) are often better at providing the sales and customer service functions for your domain names because they already have a relationship with you.Creative Mode is an Authorised ResellerCreative Mode is currently a registered reseller for Primus Telecommunications Australia and NetRegistry Australia. We are authorised to sell all .au 2LD domains and bound by auDA’s Domain Name Suppliers Code of Practice. You can find us on the auDA website here: is a free domain name transfer?Changing from one domain name supplier to another is called a domain name transfer and it’s usually a free service! YOU decide who you want to buy your domain name from and who you want to manage it, so you can change who your supplier is at any time and your domain name expiry dates will remain unchanged.

How do I manage My Domain name?

Contact details MUST be kept up-to-dateTo check if your contact details are accurate go to , type your domain name into the box and click the whois button. If the details shown there are not accurate then you need to get them updated asap. You must keep your contact details up-to-date so that you can be notified when your domain name is about to expire. You will need your domain name registry key to update your contact details. Your registry key is provided when you first register the domain name.Renew your domain name every 2 yearsWhen your registrar or reseller contacts you about renewal, you have the choice to renew for another 2 years or more. Usually this requires acceptance of terms and conditions and a credit card payment.

What happens when a domain name expires?

If your domain name expires:

□ your DNS (domain name system) record is removed
□ your website will not be accessible via your domain name
□ any email sent to your domain name will bounce back to the sender
□ the domain name enters a pending deletion status for 14 calendar days after the expiry date and then becomes available to the public for registration
□ if you choose to reactivate (renew) the domain during this time it can still take up to 24 hours to get your site and email back up
□ there is the chance that someone else will get your domain name!Why transfer to Creative Mode?Although there’s not a lot to domain name management once you know how, many customers still have out of date information on record and find the whole process confusing. Because we regularly manage other client services for you (such as website hosting) we are happy to also take care of the domain name registration. This just makes life easier because we can make sure all the contact details are up-to-date and put ourselves as the technical contact so if anything goes wrong we are authorised to sort it out for you ASAP.Creative Mode offers excellent service and
more competitive pricing than most major registrars.

.au Domain Name Management

Who is the authority for .au domain names?

.au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA) is the policy authority and industry self-regulatory body for the .au domain space. auDA carries out the following functions:

□ develop and implement domain name policy
□ license 2LD registry operators
□ accredit and license registrars
□ implement consumer safeguards
□ facilitate .au Dispute Resolution Policy
□ represent .au at ICANN and other international fora.

Domain Name Registration