Thursday, 31 October 2013

Register Your Domain Name

What is Domain Registration

Many new Miss Blossom Design clients are confused between the difference between Domain Registration and Web Hosting. Below should help clarify this issue.
In order to have a website, you will need to first register your domain name (e.g. blossomgraphicdesign.com) which basically gives you the right to use the name and is a little bit like registering a business name. It is not the same as hosting. It is vital that you keep the records relating to the domain registration safe and you always know who you are registered with, and the registry key of your domain name.

What is A Domain Name?

If you run a female spa salon or boutique oriented business, your domain name is something that you add to business cards, brochures, posters, banners and other collateral (e.g. blossomgraphicdesign.com).

What Makes A Good Domain Name?

If you choose a memorable spa salon or boutique domain name it makes you easier to find through Google or the other search engines. A good domain name creates the impression your are an established business and can create trust. The longer a domain name is, the easier it is to get wrong or forget. Try to keep it snappy, short to medium in length and stick with a well known space (e.g. .com .com.au, etc). Also selecting a reputable registry is vital.
 

To dot com or not to dot com...

I tend to encourage using "dot com" if your website markets products or services in US or internationally. Otherwise I recommend the country specific suffix, ".au" for example, if you're marketing in Australia.

K.I.S.S Keep It Simple

You need to take into account the fact that most people type URLs into their browser. Statistics show most sites receive their visitors this way. People do search for new sites using search engines, but once they find the spa salon or boutique site, they remember it. BUT only in the case of simple or easy domain names.
At Blossom we recommend a number of registries or we can take care of it all for you and keep you up to date, registered and have all your spa salon or boutique information at our fingertips.

 

Online Partners

Boutique Eco Environmentally Website Hosting

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Logo Competition and the Degradation of Design Standards

Logo competitions are sites where a client will submit a brief, and "designers" from around the world will supply speculatively, without payment, "logos" in the hope that their logo will "win" the competition. They pnyl get paid if they win and it is usually about $200 or so.

Now there are some pros for this process, such as price, which is the main one, but the cons by far out weight these. We use the word loosely when we refer to "designers" in these contests, as many have little or no training in actual design, they can use the software, but it would be rare for a designer from a professional design school with any reputation to submit to these contests.

Stolen Copyright and IP Infringement

 

At Blossom® we have frequently experienced our designs being stolen and presented as original designs in these competitions. We will contact the copyright infringing client and ask them to stop using our intellectual property. They invarably claim that they bought the logo legitimatelyfrom a logo competition. In the end they cannot use this logo and they have lost their money.

Who Can Work For Free?

To be able to work for free with no guarantee of payment means either you cannot get work any other way or you are a trustfunder and don't need to be paid (which is rarely the case). Logo contests waste "designers" time. There can only be one winner so the other "designers" don't get paid for their hard work.

Working for free means that your content "designer" cannot give the care and attention to the project that a genuine designer will give to a client. Most logos are sketched out, revises over a few time and output in a range of sizes for print and web. A freebie cannot offer this level of service and quality.

The Client isn't Always Right - Guidance, Education and Professional Expertise

A complete and suscint brief from a client to a design who's track record and portfolio will give a better result, due to the care and attention, revisions and fine tuning a truly professional logo.

Many clients are unversed about what makes an effective logo and choose a logo based on their experience, rather than being guided and educated in the best option by a professional designer. In short they choose a logo that isn't right for their business because they have no guidance. At Blossom we gulde our clients to the best solution which may not be the best in their eyes initially, but it is the most effective solution in the end and their business flourishes.

Logos are not just a pretty symbol. Nothing can replace a professions company developing a complete brand, taking into account all aspects of the company, from the culture, integrity, and values. Professional designers take all this into account and distill this down into a system of elements one of which is the logo that forms the corner stone of the brand.

Speculative Work Undermines The Profession of The Designer

AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) is against speculative work (presenting ideas with no guarantee of payment) because it undervalues the profession, means designers cannot put the full amount of effort into he project and designers have to take copyright shortcuts to make ends meet. It results in poor quality work.

A designer who participates in logo competitions is just don't get work any other way, which means they aren't any good. If they cannot get work doesn't that say something.

Nothing can replace the process of a professional design team developing your brand. Don't try to save money on your logo, as it will cost your in the future. Just as a building without good foundations will never be stable, a brand without the right logo will never reach their true potential.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Monitor Your Boutique Website Traffic

Monitor You Website Traffic
In order to improve your website's performance you need to know how you are ranking currently, in order to set goals and improve your site for Search Engines and visitors. Miss Blossom Design is an expert in high ranking sites and can get you on the road to SEO success. She sets realistic goals for your site, in terms of:
  • the competition
  • the time your can allocate to things like social media, blogging  etc.
  • the reasons you want to rank highly in certain areas or industries.

Most web hosts provide the capability to see how your site is performing, and we also recommend that you sign up for Google Analytics which provides indepth statistics on who, where, how and why visitors are entering and leaving your site.Boutique Graphic and Web Design Portfolio Link
Understanding your visitor in-depth means your can design your content and graphics to suit the majority of visitor browsers, platforms and locations.
Miss Blossom Design Studio try to encourage our clients to be hands-on with site monitoring, as we have found that the more closely a site owner tracks their site, the better that site performs in the long term and the more successful that business or company tends to be.
The idea that a site owner just sets up a site and leaves it, is probably an SEO mistake. In order to drive traffic it is better to engage in social marketing yourself, than to just pay a company to add keywords, and rely on Google Adwords or other paid seach engine advertising. External suppliers of SEO and Advertising have a place in the short term, but for your site to rank well organically (i.e. on it's own) the site needs to engage with visitors through social media, link strategies and/or great up-to-date and relevant content.
You don't need tons of visitors to rank well, but you do need a site that holds a visitors interest, is industry relevant and appropriate, and that visitors return to regularly. Also if other high ranking sites in the same industry link to your site, Search Engines will rank your site more highly.

Recommended sites to monitor sites' ranking and activity

  • Alexa - Free traffic metrics, search analytics, demographics, and more for websites.
  • Google Analytics - Enterprise-class web analytics made smarter, friendlier and free.
  • Compete - Marketing Tools for Online Entrepreneurs
Do you need to be able to update your own website? Then perhaps a CMS (Content Management System) would work for you. Miss Blossom Design ™ design and build the "pretty stuff" around a powerful publishing framework, which means you can update your site, leaving you in the driver's seat of your business.

Web Design 101 - Glossary of boutique web design Terms

:Learning about boutique web design
Blossom® Graphic Design work with lots of newbies to the web, so we have compiled a list of terms we use regularly when developing boutique web design. For some of you it might seem obvious but for the less web savvy of amongst us, the following terms will help you get along with your web design project. If you don't understand any of the descriptions, just ask. 
Accessibility - Basically, this is the ability of a website to be used by people with disabilities, including visually impaired visitors using screen readers, hearing impaired visitors using no sound, color blind people, or those with other disabilities.
Affiliate A person, organization, or establishment that drives traffic to a merchant's web site for a percentage of successful sales transactions.
Backend The back end of a website is the part hidden from view of regular website visitors. The back end generally includes the information structure, applications, and the CMS controlling content on the site.
Basecamp: The project management software we use to keep messages, files and concepts in the one place online.
Bookmark: A saved link to a website that has been added to a list of saved links or favorite sites (i.e., “Favorites”) that you can click on directly, rather than having to retype the address when revisiting the site.
Blogger and .Blogspot Refers to the name of Google's blogging software.
Breadcrumbs are the bit of navigation elements that generally appear near the top of a give web page that show you the pages and subpages the appear before the page you’re on. For examples, on a blog, the breadcrumbs might look something like: Home > Category > Year > Month > Post (or they might be a lot simpler that that). The breadcrumbs term comes from the fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.”
Browser: A program that lets you find, see, and hear material on web pages. Popular browsers include netscape navigator, safari, Microsoft internet Explorer, Firefox, and chrome.
Caching, Cache, Cached files are those that are saved or copied (downloaded) by a web browser so that the next time that user visits the site, the page loads faster.
Cookie: A piece of information about your visit to a website that some websites record automatically on your computer. By using a cookie, a website operator can determine a lot of information about you and your computer. cookies are not always bad. For example, a cookie remembers that you prefer aisle seats in the front of the plane. CSS or Cascading Style Sheets
Content Management System (CMS) Also known as a CMS, the Content Management System is a backend tool for managing a site’s content that separates said content from the design and functionality of the site. Using a CMS generally makes it easier to change the design or function of a site independent of the site’s content. It also (usually) makes it easier for content to be added to the site for people who aren’t designers.
CSS, Cascading Style Sheets are used to define the look and feel of a web site outside of the actual HTML file(s) of the site. In recent years, CSS has replaced tables and other HTML-based methods for formatting and laying out websites. The benefits to using CSS are many, but some of the most important are the simplification of a site’s HTML files (which can actually increase search engine rankings) and the ability to completely change the style of a site by changing just one file, without having to make changes to content.
Domain name: The part of an internet address to the right of the final dot used to identify the type of organization using the server, such as .gov or .com.
Domain Registration - the process by which your purchase a domain name e.g. "blossomgraphicdesign.com" - not to be confused with hosting.
DNS Stands for Domain Name Service (alternately Domain Name System or Domain Name Server). Basically, it’s the thing that converts IP addresses into domain names. DNS servers are provided with the IP address of your web server when you assign your domain name to those servers. In turn, when someone types your domain name into their web browser, those DNS servers translate the domain name to the IP address and point the browser to the correct web server.
Download: To copy a file from one computer system to another via the internet (usually your computer or mobile device).
E-Commerce - Short for electronic commerce. It’s the buying and selling of goods online, through websites. Products sold through e-commerce can be physical products that require shipping, or digital products delivered electronically.
Electronic mail (e-mail): An electronic mail message sent from one computer or mobile device  to another computer or mobile device.
Favicons are tiny (generally 16×16 pixels, though some are 32×32 pixels), customizable icons displayed in the web address bar in most browsers next to the web address. They’re either 8-bit or 24-bit in color depth and are saved in either .ico, .gif or .png file formats.
File Sharing: This software enables multiple users to access the same computer file simultaneously. File sharing sometimes is used illegally to download music or software.
Firewall: A security system usually made up of hardware and software used to block hackers, viruses, and other malicious threats to your computer.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) A protocol used for uploading or downloading files over the Internet. Webmasters often use FTP to upload web pages to their web hosting server.
Flash - A type of file that includes sound and animation. Not compatible with search engines or ipads/iphones. Search engines cannot read it. Not recommended for entire sites. OK for a few select elements. Makes updating sites costly and time consuming. Much of flash work bcan be done with Javascript and animated gifs.
The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF; /ˈɪf/ or /ˈɡɪf/) is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987 and has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability.
Hardware: A term for the actual computer equipment and related machines or computer parts.
History: A tracking feature of Internet browsers that shows all the recent websites visited.
Hexidecimal Colour - Also referred to a “hex” numbers, they are a base-16 numbering system used to define colors online. Hex numbers include the numerals 0-9 and letters A-F. Hexadecimal numbers are written in three sets of hex pairs. Because screen colors are RGB (Red, Green, Blue), the first pair defines the red hue, the second pair defines the green hue, and the third pair defines the blue.
Homepage: The site that is the starting point on the web for a particular group or organization.
HTML - Stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It’s the primary language used to write web pages. HTML is primarily intended as a way to provide content on websites (with CSS handling the layout and stylistic options), though it can also be used to determine how that content is displayed.
HTTP - Stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. HTTP is a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between a web browser and a web server.
A hyperlink is a link from one web page to another, either on the same site or another one. Generally these are text or images, and are highlighted in some way (text is often underlined or put in a different color or font weight). The inclusion of hyperlinks are the “hyper” part of “hypertext.”
Internet (net): A giant collection of computer networks that connects people and information all over the world.
Internet Service Provider (ISP): A generic term for any company that can connect you directly to the Internet.
Jpeg (Joint Partner experts group or Joint Photographic experts group): A popular file format for graphic images on the Internet.
Malware: stands for malicious software or code, which includes any harmful code—trojans, worms, spyware, adware, etc.—that is designed to damage the computer or collect information.
Merchant Account Provider A bank or other institution that provides accounts to merchants wishing to process online credit card transactions.

Meta data is the data contained in the header that offers information about the web page that a visitor is currently on. The information contained in the meta data isn’t viewable on the web page (except in the source code). Meta data is contained within meta tags.
Mobile web: The World Wide Web as accessed from mobile devices such as cell phones, PDAs, and other portable gadgets connected to a public network. Access does not require a desktop computer.
Modem: A device installed in your computer or an external piece of hardware that connects your computer to the Internet through a phone or cable line and allows communication between computers.
Navigation refers to the system that allows visitors to a website to move around that site. Navigation is most often thought of in terms of menus, but links within pages, breadcrumbs, related links, pagination, and any other links that allow a visitor to move from one page to another are included in navigation.
Netiquette: Rules or manners for interacting courteously with others online (such as not typing  a message in all capital letters, which is equivalent to shouting).
Password: A secret word or number that must be used to gain access to an online service or to modify software, such as a parental control.
Phishing: A scam that involves sending a fraudulent e-mail soliciting credit card, social security, or other personal information from an unsuspecting user.
Real-time: “Live” time; the actual time during which something takes place.
RBG - Red Green and Blue - screen colours.
Search engine: An Internet service that helps you search for information on the web.
Security Certificate Information stored on a web server that is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection with another computer. Security Certificates contain information regarding ownership, issuer, a unique serial number or other unique identification, and valid dates.
Screen Resolution - 72ppi (pixels per inch) or dpi (dots per inch). Note - Print resolution is 300 dpi or higher in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).
SEO: Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is a service that focuses on improving a website's visibility on search engines under specific keyword searches.
Skype™: A popular computer program that enables users to set up profiles, make free phone calls, chat, and video chat through their computer or mobile device from any point around the world. This free service functions through a “peer-to-peer” network, which allows individuals to communicate directly with each other rather than through a central server.  Since the conversations and content exchanged through skype are not scrutinized by monitors, children are at risk of exposure to inappropriate material and dangerous people.
SMS: Stands for “short Message service,” a form of text messaging on cell phones, sometimes used between computers and cell phones.
Social Networks: Online communities where people share information about themselves, music files, photos, etc. There are many social networking websites (e.g., Myspace, Facebook, or Friendster).
Software: A program, or set of instructions, that runs on a computer.

Spam: Any unsolicited e-mail, or junk mail. Most spam is either a money scam or sexual in nature. Internet service Providers, e-mail software, and other software can help block some, but not all, spam.
Spyware: A wide variety of software installed on people’s computers, which collects information about you without your knowledge or consent and sends it back to whoever wrote the spyware program. The programs typically will track computer use and create numerous pop-up ads. in some instances, the spyware can damage the computer and facilitate identity theft.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) A piece of computer software that encrypts messages sent over the Internet to prevent criminals from eavesdropping on them. All of the ECommerce team's applications use SSL to keep credit card numbers confidential when they are transmitted over computer networks. When a web page URL starts with "https:", it is using SSL to encrypt both the web request and the response you see on your browser. Never enter credit card numbers into a web form that is not on an https URL or send them by unencrypted email.
Surfing: Similar to channel surfing on a television, Internet surfing involves users browsing around various websites following whatever interests them.
Twitter: Twitter is a social media site that lets its users send short messages (or “tweets”) to a network of connected users online. Twitter is similar in form to features on other social networking and instant messaging sites that allow users to update their “status” or leave an “away message” to let their friends know what they are up to in real-time, all the time. On Twitter, this is also called “micro-blogging”; individuals have 140 characters to let the world know what’s on their mind or to send a tweet about something they care about.
Uniform Resource Locator (url): The address of a site on the internet. For example, the uRL for the White house is: www.whitehouse.gov. Each URL is unique and there are millions of them.
Upload: To send information from your computer to another computer.
Username: The name a user selects to be identified on a computer, on a network, or in an online gaming forum.
Valid web pages are those that return no errors based on the type of HTML/XHTML specified in the doctype declaration at the beginning of the file. In other words, the code used on the page conforms to the specifications for that version of HTML/XHTML. This can be checked through various validation services, most commonly the one from W3C.
Videocam (webcam): Video cameras that are often attached to a computer so that a video image can be sent to another while communicating online.
Virus: A self-replicating software program that typically arrives through e-mail attachments and which multiplies on the hard drive, quickly exhausting the computer’s memory. A trojan is a variation that allows unauthorized users access to the computer, from which they can send infected e-mails or spam.
Web Host A business that provides web hosting services to allow us to upload our boutique web designs.
A web page is a single document, generally written in HTML/XHTML, meant to be viewed in a web browser. In many cases, web pages also include other coding and programming (such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, or ASP). Web sites are generally built from multiple interlinked web pages.
Webmaster An individual that creates or manages a boutique website.
A web server is a computer that has software installed and networking capabilities that allow it to host web sites and pages and make them available to internet users located elsewhere. There are a few different setups that can be used for a web server, including the LAMP setup mentioned earlier.
Web Standards are specifications recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium for standardizing website design. The main purpose of web standards is to make it easier for both designers and those who create web browsers to make sites that will appear consistent across platforms.
Wireless computers: Many networks now allow computers access to the Internet without being connected with wires. These networks are becoming increasingly more popular and powerful, allowing people to access the internet using cell phones and other devices.
World Wide Web (www or web): A hypertext-based navigation system on the internet that lets you browse through a variety of linked resources, using typed commands or clicking on hot links.
(adapted from http://www.internetsafety101.org/glossaryofterms.htmand Smashing Mag and http://www.creativetheorem.com/web-design-terminology.php).

Monday, 21 October 2013

Rebranding of my beloved Blossom Design

I have been trading as Blossom Graphic Design since 2007, after moving away from my own make up brand, Di Kennedy Cosmetics. I saw how many women and men, working as aestheticians, make up artists, studios and therapists, all wanted to have their own branded products, and at the same time, realised that it wasn't the day to day running of the cosmetics business I liked, it was the setting up, marketing and getting the product to sell.

So I stopped my own brand and all of a sudden my former stockists all wanted their own lines, so I began the journey into Blossom Graphic Design. Word spread and pay client list grew. My website for blossomgraphicdesign.com grew, and pretty soon I was employing developers, freelance designers and accountants. I also worked with my favourite Canadian cosmetics manufacturer to enable small businesses to be able to brand small quantities of key products for their brands.

Six years down the track, I am the proud owner of a successful design studio, which is popular because we have services and and products that no one else can offer. I am a classically trained painter, from University of Sydney's prestigious Sydney College Of The Arts, as well as having been trained at the exclusive Sydney Institute of Technology's Enmore Design Centre. I have worked in agencies all over Sydney, large and small, boutique and corporate, in a range of industries. But my passion is beauty, opulence, neoclassicism, post modernism, using old with new, beautiful typography and I am so lucky to have found my niche.

Potential clients come to Blossom because they like our style, trust our professionalism and transparency and want to enbue their brand with the sass of Blossom.

Recently I trademarked the name Blossom as there are several company's trying to leverage off our success, as well as an older company whose identity was lacking, and I simply didn't want,people to thing that was us.

I wracked my brain for a solution, and it came to me at about 2am. Clients approach my company because of my particular style, my passion and my attitude. Basically I am Miss Blossom (although the Miss Blossom in my head is younger, thinner and sassier). So I made the decision to become Miss Blossom Design, and only employ sassy, savvy people who reflect the values and taste of her style.

Miss Blossom Design is not ashamed to be pink, she spreads sparkle where ever she goes, her design work is a true reflection of the client's dreams and she does it all in a ladylike and feminine fashion.

Looking forward to sharing the journey with you.

Miss Blossom xoxo







All about Web Hosting

About Boutique Website Hosting


Boutique Website Design Quote

What Is Website Hosting?

Request your boutique web design and development quoteMany of our client are new to web design and development and get "hosting" and "registration" mixed up.
  • is when you buy the domain name e.g. "yourdomainname.com"
  • secures your brand name online
Web hosting
  • is server space with a reputable host company to put the design files (code files and images)
  • allows Blossom® Graphic Design to upload these files to the host server so that the viewer can view through the use of s web browser (Safari, Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer 8 and above)
  • server space is called web hosting.
If you are a new business you will need both web hosting and domain registration to have a website.


Boutique Web Hosting Considerations

  • Book in a design project for your feminine boutique businessServer performance - a business needs a web hosting server that is reliable and fast. Web hosting access speed can be tested in advance for free.
  • Bandwidth - the number of people viewing your site will affect the bandwidth needed for your website. Some hosts will disable your site if it exceeds the bandwidth allowed for your site.
  • Style and Size of Your Website - you want (an image heavy website will use up a lot more space than just text and flash).
  • Security - will your web host update their server software regularly enough to combat hackers infecting your site with malware or viruses?
  • Reliability - is your host a reliable and secure company that will stick around? If your host company disappears, what will happen to your website? Make Sure that the company you select to host your site is secure and stable.
  • Cost - how much do you want to spend on hosting? Generally the less expensive the hosting, the less reliable your website will be. Uptime needs to be kept to a maximum, and many hosting companies that look too good to be true, are.
  • Hosted E-Commerce - if you are selection an hosted e-commerce solution, then you generally don't need to worry about security updates and have support around the clock. Ensure that the hosting company that the e-commerce solution use, is reliable.
  • Support - now and then you will need help and want a company that will help you through the technical red tape and jargon so you can get your email and website working the way you want it to as soon as possible.
  • Usability for developers - there are several hosts that are extremely difficult to work with technically and we recommend that our clients use one of the host servers listed below.
Feminine, boutique website designA quick note on cheap hosting... it may seem like a good idea to save money at first, but a few dollars more can mean the difference between a fast, secure and effective site, or a site that simply doesn't work or has excessive down time and security breaches. Choose your hosting wisely and ask the company questions if you aren't sure. An extra few dollars is nothing compared to the downtime costs of lost business due to your site being down all the time.

Setting up your email with a new host server.

How Do I Set Up My Email


Basics Of Setting Up A Email With A New Host Server

When you sign up with a new host server (where your website files are stored so that they can be accessed through a web browser) you need to do the following before we re-delegate the name servers (point your new domain name to the new files of your website):
  • back up all your emails if you use browser based email through your host's control panel
  • set up the email details to receive emails on your computer or device (incoming mail server)
  • set up your mail program to send emails on your computer or device (outgoing mail server)

Email Address Names

At Blossom® we have several email addresses to help organise the many emails we get per day (e.g we have each person who works here, say diane@blossomgraphicdesign.com) as well as an email for each section of the company (e.g. quotes@blossomgraphicdesign.com - for quotes, as well as a general accounts@blossomgraphic design.com ). This means that if we are looking for a quote request or a creative biref we know which account it will be under.
We started out this way, so that as our business grew we were able to manage emails.

SPAM - Self Promotional Advertising Material

A note about SPAM - you will get spam. And lots of it. Just make sure you mark it is junk (on your mac or PC program, so anything like that will be put in the trash n ext time. Also unsubscribe to anything that you never read (except our newsletter of course!).

Hoaxes & Scams

The are many email hoaxes floating around at any given time. Check out Hoax Slayer if you get something that either sounds too good to be true or that you aren't sure of.

Incoming Mail Server

Your incoming mail server will be that of your host server, they will send you a welcome email with those details and the outgoing mail server will be your internet service provider's (ISP) details (see below).

Setting Up Your Email Addresses With Your New Host

BIG COMMERCE - HOW DO I SET UP MY NEW EMAIL ON BG COMMERCE

Big Commerce

DIGITAL PACIFIC - HOW TO SET UP A POP EMAIL ACCOUNT

Boutique Eco Environmentally Website Hosting


Outgoing Mail Services (Australia)

When setting up your email on your computer or phone, you will need to know the outgoing mail server(STMP) of your internet service provider (ISP).
Below is a list of the main ones we use here in Australia. Your incoming mail server will be from the host company that provide your hosting and email services.
ISP
Outgoing Mail Server
AAPT :
mail.aapt.net.au
Bigpond :
mail.bigpond.com
Blink Internet :
mail.blink.m2.com.au
Dodo :
smtp.dodo.com.au
iiNet :
mail.iinet.net.au
Internode:
mail.internode.on.net
iPrimus
smtp.iprimus.com.au
OntheNet
mail.onthenet.com.au
Optusnet :
mail.optusnet.com.au
Ozemail :
smtp.ozemail.com.au
People Telecom :
smtp.syd.people.net.au (NSW)
Three (3G Mobile) :
smtp.three.com.au
TPG :
mail.tpg.com.au
Unwired :
esmtp.unwired.com.au **
Virgin Mobile 3G
smtp.virginbroadband.com.au
Vodafone 3G
smtp.vodafone.net.au

If you need further help, contact your host server to support you or help talk you through. Below are a list of our preferred host servers (go for Big Commerce if you want a good, secure, stable e-commerce platform.

Boutique Eco Environmentally Website Hosting

SEO Tricks & Treats

Top Tips For Search Engine Optimisation


Social Media and Seo Experts for Women's BUsiness

Professional Advice For Boutique Website SEO

Boutique Graphic and Web Design Portfolio LinkEvery exquisitely designed site designed by Blossom• Graphic Design is slightly more up-to-date than the previous one, because the search engines, technology and online trends are not static, and we are constantly upgrading our knowledge, skills and methods in line with the technology as it changes.
Blossom Graphic Design developers and designers are consistently evolving the practices employed when building our beautiful websites, e-commerce stores and blogs, to ensure SEO friendliness and integration into the latest in social media and other search engine optimisation strategies.
Blossom helps your business get a jump start on the competition through:
  • Effective and Proven Social Media Integration Strategies
  • Utilising the popularity of Blossom's site and social media networks to promote clients
  • Encouraging an altruistic and generous approach to social media
  • Discouraging a spammy approach to social media
  • Leading by example on social media sites.
The goal with online promotion is essentially to increase your traffic, through good standing and content with search engines, so that when your potential customer types in a key word or phrase into Google, Bing, or any other major search engine, your web pages come up in that all-important first page.
Below are a few strategies that we have found are effective in growing your brand online.

DOES YOUR BOUTIQUE BUSINESS NEED A BLOG?

Book in a design project for your feminine boutique businessA Blog (contraction of the term "web log") is a specific type of website, like a diary, with stories and editorials, descriptions of events or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are normally displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb. For instance to blog is to write on your blog. Wordpress is the most popular blogging software. The plus for a website built with this technology is that it is highly interactive, has an easy to use content management system and is easy to integrate with social media.

BLOGGER (GOOGLE BLOGS)

Blogger is the Google offering for blogging, and is great for the budget minded. It has some nice existing templates or you can customise it to match your corporate identity/branding. For more advanced blogging, you can use Wordpress® and host on your own server and be able to customise flexibly as it is easy to use. (We regularly install and design Wordpress sites).
We recommend that you post on your blog consistently and over a long period (daily, weekly or monthly) on general interest stories within your industry, a brand and philosophy or trends in industry. Use a blog to keep clients up-to-date.
Blossom's Style and Inspiration Blog is offers inspiration for designers and small businesses looking to rebrand or grow. We regularly post little tidbits of beautiful and lovely design, interiors, furniture, package or whatever takes our fancy. It's also useful for our clients to get an idea of design that they may not have seen elsewhere.
For a blog to be successful it needs to offer something unique, on a regular basis in a legible and generous way. If you simply use a blog to sell yourself then it's one big ad, and frankly, not that interesting. If you use it to offer your knowledge and experiences, without selling, it's more like a conversation and generally more genuine.


GOOD SEO PRACTICES FOR A BLOG AND WEBSITE

Request a Glamorous, Boutique Web, Graphic or Logo Design QuoteGEnsure when you upload images that you add tags to your blog and a "tag cloud" for SEO using widgets or that your website designer is experienced in your industry and builds the site with keyword rich terms sprinkled through your site and blog.
Blossom uses effective SEO strategies during a site's build to ensure your site is indexed effectively:
  • We ensure that we use industry specific "alt tags" throughout the site structure
  • Blossom designed sites are clean and beautifully coded websites that don't use outdated tables for the build (an absolutely "no no" for contemporary sites due to a variety of issues not the least being multi-device accessiblity).
  • We add Metadata such as titles, meta descriptions and meta keywords are added to the site code
  • Blossom aims to ensure links to all pages are on every page for effective indexing by search engines
  • We always make outbound links open in a new window.
It important to place strategic links to your website on your boutique blog and add "share buttons" so other people can use social networking to spread the word about your articles and blog's. You can also set up automated Twitter and Facebook® sharing through your blogging software, so it adds a link and title each time you a blog a new entry onto your Facebook® or Twitter Page.
Blossom makes a point of adding share codes to each website, to ensure other people can share your site on social networks. We also encourage our clients to have follow us buttons on the site as well, so you can keep your boutique clients/customers up to date.

SOME SEO TIPS AND TRICKS

Below are some of our tips and tricks for good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
  • Write and show quality, unique content, images and text
  • Add new content regularly
  • Have a strong keyword phrase for each page, not the entire site
  • Choose keywords and phrases that are popular but not too popular
  • Make sure your site is build with accessible HTML for a range of devices and platforms
  • User the keyword tag in your title tag
  • Use a domain with your title tag (e.g. blossomgraphicdesign.com contains graphic design)
  • Use your keyword phrase but not too much
  • Try to get links from reputable sites
  • Try to get links from similar sites
  • Try to get links that contain your keyword phrase
  • Create lots of content - the more content the more to index
  • Put your keyword phrase in the first paragraph
  • Write descriptive metadata
  • Put links that flow within the content
  • Link all the main images
  • Using Flash? Always include alternative text
  • Register a .com domain over a .biz or .us domain

SOCIAL NETWORKING MUST-HAVES

  • Add a "share this" or "add this" button to your website, so visitors can click and add to their social networking page or site easily.
  • Add a Facebook "like" or "recommend" button to pages on your site, blog or store to get instant feedback and positive reinforcement.
  • Add a Twitter "tweet this" link on your website, blog or e-commerce site.
  • Add links to your blog, Twitter timeline, Flickr photostream, Facebook page , Linked In profile on your website.
  • Pinterest is a relatively new player in the social media mix and is highly effective as part of an SEO strategy that includes social media for optimizing women's websites.
Social Networking has advantages and disadvantages for small business. At Blossom we have discovered that you need to set goals and boundaries with sites like Twitter and Facebook, and keep the end goal in mind when engaging online. It can be a colossal waste of time if you don't set time boundaries, or goals for tweeting and status updates on Facebook. For more corporate businesses we also like Linked in.
OK, think about what you need to achieve by being on Twitter and Facebook. Is it to increase exposure, gain clients, network with other like-minded businesses, learn about the competition or learn about your industry?
Make time and never underestimate the value of social marketing as a tool for business. Social networking is the way of the future for marketing and regardless of which one is the interface du jour, you must have it going on. Keep up-to-date on the popular ones and set up automated tweets, status updates and so on to keep clients and friends informed of your business and activities, as well as inspirational comments and generally contributing to the online community.
There is no such thing as a free lunch. In order for Social Networking to work, you have to invest your time and energy into generous online contributions of wisdom, experience and friendship. Generosity is the key, and sharing images, information and news is far more effective than simply selling your wares.

TWITTER & FACEBOOK

Twitter: a free social networking and "micro blogging" service, allowing you to send "tweets" which are basically posts limited to 140 characters. You can receive and send updates to and from Twitter using a short message service (text), RSS, instant message, email or through a third party application.
Facebook: a social networking website that is operated and privately on which users may add friends, send them messages and update their personal profiles.


3D SOCIAL NETWORKING

Social networking is a valuable tool for marketing a business, small or large. Never forget you are just one tweet or status update away from your customer, celebrities and the rest of the world. Twitter is fantastic for building your personal and professional brand, as it gives an insight into the person and energy behind a company. Offering personal morsels of information may sound banal, but the more personal a tweet, the more likely it is that it will resonate with another person, and they will spread the word or respond, thus increasing your visibility online.
If you look at the way celebrities give dimension to their personal brand, you can see how this would work on a corporate level from a CEO or marketing director, letting "slip" secrets and new products, accidentally on purpose. Another example would be celebrities tweeting from backstage, to excite a crowd, fashion designers tweeting from a parade, give their fans and followers an inside peek. Human beings love to see behind the scenes stuff and to engage with a product or service.

DO'S FOR SOCIAL MARKETING

  1. Be Helpful - Offer tips and techniques, information, maps, and reviews (this page is an example - I want to share this information and I share it for free. The benefit for you is that you gain my knowledge and the benefit for me is that you visit my site (hopefully more than once)).
  2. Be Sincere - You cannot fake it. Passion is genuine. Express that passion online. Live your "brand" each day, which can mean not pleasing everyone all the time. In order to make your online connections count, you need to connect with like-minded people. The result of this will be that you will engage with like-minded people in your business. If you are sincere across all digital channels, when people look you up online they will see your online brand across all channels.
  3. Be Generous - as with being helpful, being generous creates goodwill, visitors and builds online relationships. Generosity might be in the form of downloads, inspiration, news, tips, advice or links, support, tweets, plugs to other businesses and so on.
  4. Build Online Relationships - conversations and interactions that nurtures, just like "real" relationships are vital, otherwise it is just "a bunch of digital gums flapping" (Six Pixels of Separation by Mitchel Joel)

ADD KEYWORD RICH "ALT" TAGS TO ALL YOUR IMAGES

Add your "Alt Tags" or (alternative text embedded in the code) for your images when you upload them into an e-commerce site or through a content management system (CMS). When Blossom build's a site we try to do this on all images and titles, but if you are managing your own site, you will need to do this yourself.
The reason for this is that search engines can't read images, so you need to give the search engine enough information on that image, within the code, so it can "read" the image (and it's a great chance to use those keywords to great effect). It also means that if the image doesn't load the visitor can read what the image is supposed to be.


KEYWORD RICH COPY

Write keyword rich copy/text on your site, but ensure that it still reads well and isn't "over optimised". If your boutique website text uses the same word over and over, Google and the other search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing, won't like this, but if it is grammatically correct, with punctuation and correct sentence structure, thenGoogle and the other search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing, will love it, especially if it is done in a logical and interesting way that is relevant to the topic/industry.
For keywords to be effective, they need to be in the keyword meta data (if you want, we can add this during the building of the pages), the meta description (we can also add this during the build) as well as the page copy itself, preferably in relevant linking text and headings.

EFFECTIVE LINKING STRATEGIES

Add hyperlinks within keywords within text to other parts of the site that are relevant to that keyword so that Google and the other search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing, can easily see the structure and pages of your site.
Ensure websites with higher rankings are linking to you from "good neighborhoods" in the same industry. Avoid having anything to do with "link farms" or directories created for the sole purpose of link exchanging. Write comments and add your link on other peoples blog's, but don't overdo it. No one likes spam.

CREATE AN HTML NEWSLETTER FOR CLIENTS

Set up a email newsletter database, with an email capture form on your site (we can help you set this up with a 30 day trial period). Add your existing database and get permission from clients to opt in. Add an opt in form to your website. Don't just "sell" in it, send relevant industry info as well, special offers from related businesses.
You can build the newsletter in the easy to use editor, and send out to your clients, friends, followers and potential customers. Offer stories, tips and "give" your reader a reason to click, in other words a "call to action". Make them feel good with an article, encourage them with support and tell them how your business is just what they need in their life.
Send on a regular basis, consistently but not too often. I don't love weekly ones. Once a month is nice, and not overdone. Super keen people can always visit your blog.


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