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WORDS OF WISDOM FROM THE CAMEL

By Development Team 01 Dec, 2017
There is no such thing as a free lunch!

If you are a motor mechanic and a customer walked in to ask for a tune and an oil change, would you offer them a seat on a nice cozy couch, make them a coffee, escort their family to send them into a service bay, work away with tender loving care for a few hours, present the keys back to the customer, say "Hey it's on us" and smile as they drove off?

I could ask the same question to a pub owner, a butcher, a baker, even a candlestick maker saying, "would you provide any service at all and just take a smile as payment?"

Okay, in between you saying to yourself, "Has TheCamel lost it, is he crazy?" Let me ask why. As in, why would you not do all that work for free?

Well, you have bills to pay, employees to consider, you must make a living as the old saying goes "Money doesn't buy happiness," well, let me say that your life would be miserable without money, fast.

The only problem? There is a lot going on in this world for free! FREE websites, FREE Software, FREE Social Media, FREE all sorts of things and people are clamoring for free stuff. This now leads us to the topic of this blog, "There is no such thing as a free lunch!"

Somewhere along the line, somebody must make money out of something, so they'd avoid the miserable category.

Free Website Builder? Of course, it's free but the hosting is not, and if you want the site to look great, we hope and pray that your technical ability is above left and right click of a mouse and also, beyond drag 'n drop. Then, if you need any of the sexy features, oops! Sorry, they are not free but seeing as you're halfway done might as well pay for those, too hard? Well, we can give you online help but that will cost you $X.

Free applications and software, wow great idea! You can really make the site shine now, but that is just the standard. You can't do anything free version with ads (as we need to pay for stuff you know). So hope you don't mind if your customers get the occasional pop-up video of Dolores Bath, House and Spa weekly specials. But, you need the app or software now you're in, so best to drag out the trusty Visa card.

All a bit much? Well, what about Facebook? Hey, you can make a free business web presence on that, no need at all for a website. You will even save yourself the hosting fees.


Great idea! But hang on, do you really think they will share with all your likes for free all those sexy posts about exclusive offers you're making? Be fair, they have multi-zillion on dollar salaries to pay, so sorry if you want all your customers to see what you're offering? That will cost you money each time and if they don't like your posts, sorry, that's all subject to the automated customer (read Robotic) service department of Facebook. So maybe you will have to adjust it to some zillion times to make it more of a picture than an offer, but hey, it's free!

Let's not also forget they are not just your customers, they belong to Facebook and they can also use the information to send competitor ads as well.

So, it's time folks, what's the point of all this today, am I anti-free stuff? No, I'm not. What I am trying to say is not all things for your business growth should be put in the FREE basket. The things that are super important, those first customer impressions - your website, those customer grabbing needs like SEO, booking services, etc. Maybe they are important enough to invest a little, to maybe look at experts to help you.

Then, your business can move towards the success path you want and deserve, and you can buy people lunch!



Big Hugs from TheCamel


By Development Team 01 Nov, 2017
Elton John had a famous song, “Sorry seems to be the hardest word”. Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote the song about a romantic relationship which is falling apart. The song has a chorus that pretty much explains the heartache, “So sad, so sad, why can’t we just talk it over, sorry seems to be the hardest word”.

Oh, the tears are falling on my keyboard as I type those words.

Must be honest, I really disagree with Elton and Bernie, I really don’t think “Sorry” is the hardest word, I think NO is.

Think about it for a minute, if we said “NO” more often we would not have to say sorry, would we? Most relationships get into trouble as one or the other didn’t say NO to a mistake so ended up in a so sad, so sad SORRY conversation. Many people have lost their license as they didn’t say, “NO” to the last drink and end up so sad.

So sad your honor and I am truly “Sorry” for what I did as they get their license taken away.

You could look at most, “Sorry” conversations and it would be a good bet that if you or somebody else had said, “NO” there would not be a conversation and nobody would be getting into trouble or feeling sad sad situation.

So, what has this song got to do with websites and SEO and other business-related stuff? Well I’m glad you asked that question. Let me share my thoughts.

A lot of issues with non-performing websites those being ones that don’t convert lookers into buyers, and SEO work that does not convert to good rankings that allow people to find your website, both of which usually have a “Sorry” it’s not working conversation attached either with a designer or you with your customers or business partners could have been different if somebody said NO.

No to what, you might be asking? Well, in the case of the website, NO to way too much insignificant content, NO to lots of bells, whistles and moving objects that really have no impact, NO to a major focus on the desktop and not enough on the mobile. NO, to features and fixtures that have no focus on getting people to book and buy. NO to way too much reading and not enough clicking to action.

With SEO? NO to key words or phrases that will not narrow down the search to you, your business, where you are and what you sell or supply. NO to wanting to win a global search when you’re making hamburgers in downtown suburbia.

The good news? Unlike the song, the relationship can be fixed, a little bit of good SEO work, informative website design, will set the right music and have your business singing a love song to your customers and Google and then? No need for “Sorry”, you can move onto another song like “Happy Days are here again”.

Hugs from TheCamel.co
By Development Team 02 Oct, 2017
I live in a fantastic city, it’s alive, it’s vibrant, shopping centers are busy, super market checkouts are long and the trolleys are full. I see more and more new cars on the road. It’s super exciting! A sign that all is doing well and prosperity is happening.

With all this success you start to see newer commercial buildings sprouting up to occupy the skyline and even old ones going through renovations. These commercial spaces need people to fill them and I imagine some people, young and old getting the old entrepreneurial juices running once they see a little spare cash in the bank account or maybe other family members have and they are the ones to take down the for-rent sign.

Yes, suddenly, these new cashed up wanna-be-successful business people get a flash in the head, fireworks start going off, a potential million-dollar idea is in process, dream of Porsches and Yachts stream through their brains as they tell the boss goodbye and start dumping that bank balance or a close family member on a deposit for one of those fresh new office lots or just renovated street front shop.

Yes, it all seemed like a good idea at the time.

I say good idea at the time for a reason. The reason is?

Well, I see all these new buildings and renovated ones having a lot of the for-lease signs being replaced with work in progress. I see a lot of new furniture, new clothing racks and people and stock arriving, but pretty soon I also see the removals’ coming, closing down sale signs falling and being replaced with “For Lease”.

You see, the problem is that 80% of those that get that overdose of entrepreneurial juice running? Fail and run out of money juice within the first 12 months of operating.

So, what are the major causes of failure?

  • Not Seeking Professional Advice
  • Lack of Good Customer Care
  • Copying Others
  • Lack of Experience
  • Unaccountability
  • Lack of Personal Growth
  • Poor Location
  • Lack of Focus
  • Wrong Expectation
  • Quitting Too Soon
So why am I writing about this today when I normally discuss websites, SEO and stuff like that. Well, we need the new business to be around, as we want to build websites, and do SEO work. I also know that a lot of other business need them to service as well so we can all help each other.

So, let me give you a little advice, something I have used to build a successful business that has grown but most importantly made it past that first one year and was not part of the 80%.

When you have one of those, “Seems Like a Good Idea” moments? Stop and listen to a great quote from Abraham Lincoln. A quote that I use every day to press the pause button when my mind starts to run faster than common sense.

When asked what he would do if he has six hours to cut down a tree? Abraham Lincoln replied, “I would spend four hours sharpening my axe”

So, folks, before committing your cash (or others) putting the deposit on a Porsche or a Yacht, grab the idea, a few sheets of paper and start thinking through a good business plan.

Spend a little time sharpening that axe before you attack the tree.
By Development Team 01 Sep, 2017

Let’s take a little stroll back memory lane for a moment, can we? In my case, it’s more like a marathon but it only seems like yesterday. Let’s roll back and remember our High School days. How awesome were they? Puberty and pimples, what a joy! For the boys, it was the embarrassment of the voice breaking, biceps started to be a focus. As for girls? It was a matter of all sorts of things. But, back in the day it was the start of the importance of how you look and what people said about that.

They were tough, emotionally charged times, but one thing is for sure and that is suddenly like a chicken popping out of an egg, boys and girls finally started to notice each other in strange and unusual ways and one major event of the High School Year made this “Attraction” more noticeable than ever, what was it that fired up the intensity to a fever pitch?

 The High School Ball.

Wow, did life get exciting the moment that event was announced at the morning assembly. Screams of “What will I wear?” could be heard across the school yard, boys whispering to each other, “Who are you going to ask as your date?”. But that was just the preamble. The whole focus was that suddenly, these teenagers became like a bunch of crazy people totally focused on looking their best to make sure they got noticed by the ones they wanted to be noticed by.

Mums were stressed about dresses and hair, dads were stressed with paying for this and for that, hours would be spent at shops, hairdressers, suit hire would be flat out as all the boys tried to come to terms with tying a bow tie for the first time in their lives. All this action to make sure of one thing, to make sure you looked great and smelt great, so you would be noticed by the ones that you wanted to be noticed by. To be the Belle of the Ball? Was an important moment in your life.

So, what does being the Belle of the Ball and a Website have in common? So happy you asked that question. Well, your website? Is always trying to be the Belle of the Ball, to be the one that’s noticed more by the people you want it to be noticed by, and who do you really want it noticed by? Ah, the best-looking partner in the room, that one you secretly lay in bed at night thinking about, yes, the Front Page of Google!

So, like the teenager was trying on the best clothes, going to best hairdresser, covering up all those pimples with as much foundation as possible, your Website to be attractive to the one that matters most? Needs some special treatment.

Key words, call to action, mobile friendly and optimized, SEO work, all these are the things you need to make sure are in place to be attractive to the one you need to be attractive to. Getting your content right, having pictures the right size, these are the hairdressers and suit hire of your business today.

So, if you want to be the Belle of the Google Ball, make that front page so those that you need to notice are lining up for that first dance, make sure you have an SEO Plan in place, or maybe get somebody to help you out.

 

Big Hugs from TheCamel.

By Development Team 02 Aug, 2017
Ok famous line from a famous Movie, Top Gun. Wow, adrenalin packed 90 minutes, F18’s zooming across the sky, dog fights, it was awesome and that one line from Tom Cruise, “I feel the need, the need for speed” has become the catch cry before you put the pedal to the metal and zoom off down the highway or if you’re lucky strap yourself into your F18 and go and catch the clouds. I don’t think many of us would have an F18 sitting in our garage huh.

These days though, I feel the need for speed is no longer just screamed out by the petrol heads and sky pilots, that one line has become part and parcel of every web site build design sheet presented to a builder.

Yep, thanks to good old Google making us all 100% paranoid our potential customers will leave us quicker than you can say “Chester’s Dead” (another famous line in Top Gun) if our websites don’t load in under a few seconds. “The Need for Speed” is high on a customers want list.

The point is though that the majority of customers want this speed, but they also want the site to be sexy, awesome, state of the art, graphically enhanced, a few special effects here and there, like hey I need to stand out from the crowd type site. (This is on top of the often asked for minor request of being page one in Google)

So, at this point let me clarify a major issue, for something to go fast? We must consider a very important issue and that is weight. Formula One cars, MotoGP bikes, F18’s, horses even humans can go fast as long as long as they don’t weigh a lot, and if you want to go faster in any of these? Well, you have to start throwing out some ballast.

Heavyweights don’t win the 100 meters at the Olympics, folks.

So, let’s look at that website. Do you really need those 5000 pictures? What about that 190 pages of technical text? Those three videos you wanted to play on the slider? Do you think you can do without them?

When your customer is requesting speed but they still want all the goodies, maybe you should start singing “Highway to the danger zone” and remind them that’s it’s hard for a pig to fly and we might need to let go of some of the goodies, streamline the site a little, stick to facts and click to call, use more PDF’s and zippyty doo dah that site will fly.

Then you can ride off into the sunset on the back of a motorcycle and let the credits roll.

Big Hugs from TheCamel
By Development Team 03 Jul, 2017

Nothing better than seeing a pond in garden, water lilies, maybe even frogs hopping around. You see birds fly by, then once they spot the clear crystal water they can’t help themselves but swoop down and have a bit of play in the cool refreshing water.

It’s easy to keep the pond full of happiness, just need to keep the water fresh and alive, mix it up a bit, and for years it will be a real live place of activity and new life, what a joy!

But what if you don’t add water, what if there is a genuine lack of attention and TLC?

Well, it will start to turn green, the frogs will pack up and run away and “Croak” somewhere else, the birds will fly past, take a quick smell and let out a tweet of “eeeooww” and visit another pool close by.

Yep, still water sooner than later ends up smelling bad and nobody will visit and the pond ends up being a green and yucky mess.

Websites are a lot like a pond in the garden of your business.

They start off all clear and glimmer, customers bounce along and visit, business blooms. It’s a real joy for you and everyone else when it’s all brand new.

Then as time goes on? You stop adding things, changing things, updating things. Your customers visit until the smell is bad and the scream of “eeeooww” shakes the PC screen or their phone shakes in their trembling hands and sooner than later they go and visit another pond (‘business’).

Yes folks, like the pond in your garden, your website not only needs TLC. It needs some regular churning up and a top up with fresh water to stop the stagnation process.

Yes, those pictures of you or your products look a little stale after you have seen them a few times. That menu when viewed is greeted with “Wow we have eaten all of that”. The specials you put up when the website was first made live 5 years ago? Well, they no longer even manufacture those products.

So today, the advice we are going to give is simple - Don’t let your website turn into a smelly pond where nobody wants to visit.

Get regular with your updates, treat your website like you do your social media pages, get weekly offers going, make sure you’re updating your pictures. If you have an active social media program, make sure you have a live feed on your website so it’s always in a state of constant refresh.

You do all this and I guarantee you nobody will say “eeeooww” about your site and it won’t become a green and yucky mess.

I can’t guarantee you will be visited by frogs though, LOL.

 

 Big Hugs from TheCamel

By Development Team 01 Jun, 2017

Ok, a serious blog today about a serious question. Automated website builders? We see it every day and we get constantly asked if we believe automated site builders can create great customer attraction programs. Every time I get asked this question, I think of a great scene from the movie I,Robot when the character played by Will Smith is trying to explain why he really dislikes robots.

Will Smiths says: “Um, look, this isn't what I do, but I've got an idea for one of your commercials. You see... a carpenter, making a beautiful chair. And then one of your robots comes in and makes a better chair twice as fast. And then you superimpose on the screen, "USR: Shittin' on the Little Guy". That would be the fade-out”.

Maybe I’m old school like Will Smith was in the movie. But, my feelings are that everything that is creative in this world? A human does it better. A robot must be programmed to do it. It’s not natural, it doesn’t come from the heart. So, do I believe automatic site builders are a good thing? The answer is a big NO. What’s more, I love the joy I see on a fresh graduate’s face when they start a new job and design their first site. I love it when one of our crew make a design that a customer sends them a big huge rap and grateful words. I love what our crew create.

Now before I get attacked by all the technocrats on being old school, let me add in some details that are not emotionally motivated.

The auto builder features that say they can just search all your current sites details and content and copy it over to a new site? Yes, possible but it’s a bit all over the place and a human must take over and make it look at least clean and tidy. An auto builder using a template and your typing input? Yep, that can work but you end up with a bunch of clone sites.

Customer attraction programs is what we call them not websites. And, if your site is going to be the first web impression potential customers see of your business, don’t you want them to see the best?

So, maybe it costs a few dollars more. Maybe there is a little back and forth. But in the end, it’s all about no second chance on a first impression. And, you should let your customers see the best of you.

Unless…Your selling to Robots huh.

By Development Team 02 May, 2017

Do you remember that show? Wow, they would have a bunch of people go through a series of three stunts, all super dangerous, like driving fast cars over a bridge, or through fire and explosions. But, the stunts that usually got everybody talking were the eating strange disgusting things or lying in a glass case having a close encounter with all sorts of nasty stuff.

Some of the things they made people eat were shocking. A quick sample of delicacies include African cave dwelling spiders – nasty things with big long legs with claws at the end of them, and hello they were alive and had to be chewed before swallowing.

What about sheep’s eyes? Yep, these lovely little balls of cooked joy are bad enough but to make it worse, the contestants were surrounded by live sheep looking at them straight in the eye whilst the contestant devoured one of their relatives former looking glass of life.

Tarantulas, snakes, raw sewerage, all sorts of fun and joy made for a super show. Yes, just the thought of this stuff was enough to elevate the “FEAR” factor but the host, Joe Rogan, was also famous for really talking up the fear. Telling the contestants how disgusting the thing was they were about to eat, really talking it up before the contestant could look at it and have attempt to do the task. The silly part? Often the stuff they had to eat although looking awful really had no taste or wasn’t that bad at all, you just must get it past the lips! LOL.

When it comes to talking up the fear factor in the web world? I tell you, Joe Rogan does not compare to what the SPAM emailers get up to. They can send you information so awful and frightening that you will swear your super sexy website is a disaster and has every problem except for maybe the plague!

I read them, customers read them, then get me to read them and it is very scary. They will have stats upon stats telling us how we have “100’s” of issues with our website. The fear factor they build up is terrible and you get to the point you’re even worried your customers might catch a virus if they look at it. Yes folks, the fear factor driven up by these email spammers form all sorts of strange and wonderful lands is not just scary, it’s a pain in the you know what.

Is the fear real? In most cases no. They will pick all sorts of obscure, mean-nothing, technical issues that really have zero to do with the performance of your site. All they want to do is create the illusion of a tarantula on the plate, a rat in the sewer and make you as scared as possible for you to email them back and sign up for something that really you don’t need.

So, if you get those emails? You can be on the safe side. Don’t even get involved in the show, do a quick check with google or your web developer to settle your nerves, then maybe find a crunchy bowl of scorpions to munch on whilst you watch Joe talk it up on the reruns.


Have a great day!

 


 

 

By Development Team 31 Mar, 2017

Back in the day, the 70’s to be exact, you could hear the sweet sounds of Simon and Garfunkel singing “Bridge over troubled water” whilst you cruised the streets in your 1970 Ford Galaxy. The song was number one and the figures for the Galaxy? Wow, you would be so excited as you achieved an average of 12mpg! Which was okay as gas was only 36 cents a gallon.

But fast forward ten years and wow what a difference. You’re now squashed into a Honda Hatchback as gas has hit $1.31 a gallon and you’re singing along to blondie belting out the hit “Call me”

Yes, ten years is not a long time but wow did things change for the car industry back in the 70s. The old gas guzzlers just could not do it anymore and no longer fit the market. But the big three kept making them and sooner than later they had acres of unsold cars whilst the Japanese imports had a waiting list and people ready with pen in hand to sign on the dotted line.

The website business in 2017 has a lot in common with the 1970s Car industry, and the gas guzzler now are desktop sites. The big game changer is not the price of gas, it’s the evolution and expansion of the mobile connection.

3g, 4g, Wireless, Fiber Optic – all these speed demons have made it so we are now a Mobile World. You won’t see people walking around the streets carrying a gas guzzling desktop computer on their back. They will have the mobile in hand or they will be sitting on the toilet looking at their next consumer purchase on the new awesome IPad.

Yes folks, for the desktop design? There is a “bridge over troubled water”!

But? Like the big three back in the day, a lot of business will stick to the old, gotta look awesome on the 26-inch screen, and let’s just shrink it down for those customers that choose the phone or the tablet to look for us.

The fact is? The thinking should be the reverse. We should be thinking, “wow, how can make the site look awesome on mobile and the desktop should be the end game”. We should be focusing on how to make our websites’ Customer Attraction Programs that get consumers wanting to book and buy rather than sit there and read.

So, guys and gals, let’s not sing when you’re weary feeling small, let’s get all excited, let’s get into the new age, break away from those troubled waters, give the gas guzzler a rest and get into the Mobile Evolution, and if you need help? Call me…

Big Hugs from TheCamel


By Development Team 01 Mar, 2017
Okay, so you have the manual. You have all the shiny new tools. You have just purchased from the local hardware store. All the bits and pieces of your soon to be party venue pergola are laying there and ready to go. You even bought a pair of super tradesman overalls so you would at least look the part. Yes, you’re about to become a DIY person. Heck, you even have the iPad sitting on a side table with YouTube how-to videos paused and waiting.

But, half way into the operation, your fingers are swelling from being whacked with the hammer one too many times, the neighbors have called the police to report offensive language, your dog is hiding under the table as he is scared the hammer throw might greet him, your partner and kids have packed their bags and taken to the shelter of a Motel down the road.

Worse, still you’re finding more parts and wondering where they were supposed to go?

It’s at this time you fall to your knees, clasp your hands and beg to the DIY Gods, “Send me a Professional!”

Folks, there is no shame in using a Professional. Plus, it saves medical bills, potential jail terms, relationships, and is kind to animals!

I don’t hear of this everyday with the Pergola crew, but I do hear horror stories with business people trying to build a website. Even more, we get professional building them that cry out for help when things are not going according to plan and a little extra skill is needed.

Let me say it once again, there is no shame in asking for help.

Think about it, like the carpenter that builds Pergolas for a living, he has most likely built many of them so he knows what he is doing. He probably has more tools. Guarantee you, he has some special ones that make the job faster, easier and more precise.

Websites are like that as well. Most business people are busy running a business they might build a website once in a lifetime. We build 100’s a month, we have the latest computers, software, designers that are up to date on all the latest trends as well, we should as that’s the business we are in.

So, like the professional carpenter, a professional web fulfillment partner is a great idea.

And there is no shame in using a Professional.

Be kind to your pet, family and look after your health. When building a website, or if you get into a little bit of a bind, don’t throw the keyboard at the wall, call a professional fulfillment partner and let us do the work whilst you play games on the tablet or walk the dog.
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