Frequently asked questions
What is CDN?
CDN stands for content delivery network. These are networks of servers based in multiple locations that work together to display your business website or ecommerce platform more efficiently than a single server can.
Most web traffic today uses CDNs to help manage traffic volumes and security. This includes major online platforms such as Facebook, Amazon and Netflix.
What is the purpose of CDN?
CDNs were introduced as far back as the 1990s to serve the need for faster, more reliable and more secure content delivery.
A website without a CDN that instead uses a single server to manage website traffic is more likely to be prone to slow loading times, crashing and cyber attacks. CDN mitigates these risks by using multiple servers simultaneously and using strategies to streamline and secure data transfers.
How does a CDN work?
CDN uses networks of servers in data centres across different locations, typically in places where internet service provider networks meet so they can serve as many users as possible.
When someone views your website or other online content you're hosting through a CDN, the network determines their location and typically uses a server close to them to transfer data. This ensures a faster and more reliable connection than using a single server, especially for users in different parts of the world.
If the nearest server is busy or dealing with a problem, a different server can be used instead. CDNs typically divide data transfers between several servers at once to ensure successful operations even if one server fails.
Servers also hold cached copies of your website content and other media, which can be transferred faster than if these were being accessed for the first time.
Does a CDN really help?
There are direct and indirect benefits to using a CDN for your business website. First the obvious advantages:
- Speed – your website will load faster for users, as content is delivered through local servers and cached to save time.
- Reliability – with load distribution across multiple servers at once, your website will always be online, even during times of peak traffic that can cause a single server to fail.
- Security – CDNs control the flow of traffic to restrict access to suspicious or malicious activity. CDNs can be integrated with firewalls and other security systems and spread the risk across multiple servers to help protect your data from malware attacks and other cyber attacks.
- Saving money – server caches mean less data needs to be transferred between your website and the servers each time. This could lower your bandwidth costs and save money on your hosting plan.
By improving the user experience with faster loading times and reduced frustration, using CDN can also lead to more sales and conversions on your website and improve SEO to help more people find you through search engines.
The benefits of CDN vary with the needs of your business. To find out how your business could stand to benefit, contact our hosting specialists in Perth.
When should you not use a CDN?
CDN might not be the best choice for your business if you won't see noticeable benefits. If you have a small website that receives very little traffic, and this traffic mostly originates in your local area, switching to a network model could actually slow your website down (although you'll still be better protected against cyberattacks and downtime).
Talk to our team to find out if you could benefit from CDN or another option.
Is CDN the same as web hosting?
A CDN caches content on your website, it doesn't actually host it. You'll need to use a web hosting service to get your website online. Combining hosting with a CDN can improve your website's performance and avoid some common hosting problems.
What is a CDN cache?
Servers on a content delivery network keep copies of your content available so this data can be transferred instantly when someone accesses your site, without having to obtain the data again. A quick check will tell the server whether any content has been changed since it was last cached. If it has, the server will access the new or updated content and replace the old cached files.
Is it safe to use CDN?
CDN lowers your security risks compared to a traditional server model, as there will always be backup servers if one is compromised and you can benefit from built-in security and protection tools. There can only be risks if your CDN does not include security features or if you're using a public CDN rather than a private company.
What is the best CDN?
There are different CDNs to choose from, which each have their advantages depending on the size and traffic of your website.
At iST Digital in Perth, we recommend Amazon CloudFront to our small business clients, as it offers scalable benefits with integrated protection and an affordable pay-per-use payment model with no long-term contract. With servers based in Australia, your website and videos will load quickly for local users.
What is Amazon CloudFront?
Amazon CloudFront is Amazon's CDN service, part of the AWS suite of online tools for businesses. The service is known for its high transfer speeds and low latency compared to competitors. It also incorporates AWS firewall protection to help keep your data secure.
Amazon CloudFront is used by high-profile brands including Condé Nast, Dow Jones and streaming service Hulu, but it's well suited to the needs of small businesses too.
Is AWS a CDN?
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is Amazon's suite of online tools for businesses hosted in the cloud. Amazon's CDN service CloudFront is part of AWS and is compatible with other AWS services.
How do I get started with Amazon CloudFront?
What is conversion rate?
Conversion rate is the percentage of people who visit your website or view your marketing content and then proceed to complete an action.
Conversion goals can vary depending on the situation. It could be making a purchase from your ecommerce store or just signing up for your newsletter.
Conversion rate is a useful metric for marketers and website owners to know, as it shows you how successful your campaigns are in real terms.
How is conversion rate calculated?
You can calculate the conversion rate of your website when you have the number of visitors to the site and the number of conversions. This data may be found in Google Analytics or other analytics tools.
Divide conversions by visitors and multiply by 100 to see your current conversion rate. For example, if your site had 10,000 visitors last month, but only 100 of these completed a transaction, the conversion rate would be 1%.
What is conversion rate optimisation?
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the actions taken to increase conversions. This could be across your whole business or related to a specific offer. CRO strategies aim to persuade more visitors to complete transactions by making these offers more compelling and reducing the barriers in their way.
How does CRO work?
Conversion rate optimisation can involve many different activities targeting your website, marketing materials, ads and other content. By making offers more enticing to your target audiences, making it easier to complete checkout, and reducing frustrations such as slow loading times, you can turn more browsers into buyers.
Specific CRO strategies will depend on your business' conversion goals and customer data.
What is a good conversion rate?
The average conversion rate for websites and ads is around 2.35%, according to WordStream. For the top 25% of brands, conversion rate begins at 5.31%, while the top 10% of brands are at 11.45% conversions.
Your conversion goals will depend on your sales targets. Even an increase of 1% could represent a significant amount of extra sales, but you could achieve much more.
What is a bad conversion rate?
Around one quarter of brands have conversion rates below 1%, according to WordStream. The lower your conversion rate is, the harder your marketing has to work to hit your sales targets, which could lead to overspending on your marketing budget.
Why is my site not converting?
There could be many reasons why your website or offers aren't having the success you hoped for. These could include:
- Website is hard to navigate or understand which gives a bad user experience
- Slow loading times or server crashes harm the user experience
- Website isn't optimised for mobile
- Website copy isn't persuasive or images aren't appealing
- No clear call to action (CTA) telling users what you want them to do
- No service guarantees
- High shipping / postage costs
- No reviews, or even bad reviews
- No live chat, or easy way of contact to ask questions
- No answers to questions
- Ads and marketing materials aren't tailored to your audience
- Not remarketing to existing leads
CRO involves identifying all major weaknesses in your website and other content so you can work on making improvements.
Why has my conversion rate dropped?
If your conversion rate has dropped over time, there could be many causes. These might include:
- Website tracking codes aren't set up to record traffic or conversions properly
- Server issues may be causing your pages to load slowly or fail to load, harming the user experience
- You haven't responded to changing customer demographics or needs
- A new competitor is stealing your traffic and leads
- Seasonal disruptions or other external causes are affecting demand, such as COVID-19
CRO isn't a one-time fix for your website. You should continually check your conversion rate against traffic to make sure your site is performing at its peak or take steps to improve it.
How do I make a high conversion website?
The improvements you need to make to your website will depend on how it's performing and what suits your customers. Generally, website owners can improve their conversion rate by:
- Simplifying design and navigation to focus on the basics
- Using a responsive website theme or optimising sites for mobile
- Using a content delivery network (CDN) to improve page speeds and avoid downtime
- Writing clear, persuasive descriptions
- Using high quality images and video
- Including a clear call to action (CTA) on every page
- Simplifying sign-up forms to make them faster to complete
- Using chatbots to answer visitors' queries
How do I increase ecommerce conversion rate?
If you have an ecommerce website, you could increase conversions and boost sales through:
- Simple, intuitive navigation and categories for products
- Clear product descriptions, imagery or video
- Using landing pages in digital marketing to ease the customer journey
- Competitive pricing, exclusivity or other perks
- Choice of payment options, price levels and delivery methods giving customers more options
- Speeding up the checkout process to reduce drop-offs
- Sending abandoned cart messages promptly to encourage a customer to complete their transaction
- Upselling exclusive promotions or other incentives to previous customers
What are CRO best practices?
You shouldn't start conversion rate optimisation without a clear action plan, or you could be focusing your time, effort and money in the wrong places and missing out on what's important. To make sure your CRO strategies are set to succeed, you should:
- Analyse your customer data on Google Analytics and social media to see where traffic comes from and what users do on your website
- Research your target market and create buyer personas to personalise marketing messages
- Conduct customer surveys to get more insights
- Run A/B testing for ads and other marketing content to see what works best and what you need to improve
How do I get started with CRO?
If you want to increase your conversion rate today, get in touch with iST Digital to talk to our marketing specialists in Perth. Our team can help you to optimise your website, ecommerce store and marketing content for the best chance of making sales or achieving your other conversion goals.
What is content strategy?
Content strategy is part of a business' overall digital strategy that uses content to help you achieve your business goals.
A comprehensive content strategy should cover the planning, creation, delivery and management of all online content you produce. This helps to make sure it's consistent, engaging and relates to your branding strategy and business objectives.
Why do I need a content strategy?
Without a clear strategy behind it, content marketing can be less effective and waste time and resources. Unfortunately, this is the case for most businesses, with a survey by the Content Marketing Institute finding that only 37% of businesses that use content marketing have a documented strategy guiding it.
Your content strategy can be an invaluable guide to make sure you target the right people with the right messages at the right time. It also helps to ensure that all your content is cohesive and works together to help you attract and engage customers, get more leads and increase conversions.
What is the difference between content strategy and content marketing?
Content marketing is the activity of creating, publishing and managing content, from your website to social media and other sites. Content strategy is the careful planning behind it that drives content marketing to success.
The two terms are often used interchangeably, but both are necessary for a successful digital marketing campaign. Content marketing should not begin until a clear content strategy has been planned and documented.
What should a content strategy include?
Content strategies can vary along with business goals, but there are some components that can apply to all campaigns. These include:
- Goals – knowing what you want to achieve with content marketing and how this relates to your business goals
- Values – making sure your content reflects your brand personality and values
- Audience – knowing who each piece of content is being created for, including language and tone
- Roles – who will create your content (including text, images, video and other content)
- Workflow – making sure content is ready when it's needed so it can be published at strategic times
What is a content strategy framework?
One reason why content strategy is important is that it clearly sets out the timeline of content creation and management. This makes sure everyone on your team is on the same page and helps you to measure the success of marketing strategies against your goals.
Consistency is vital in content marketing for keeping your brand active on platforms and keeping your audience engaged. Taking the time to create a content calendar will make sure you don't run out of topics to cover and don't miss important dates, such as product launches, industry events and national holidays.
Try our free content calendar template to get started planning your content strategy.
What are the different types of content?
Your content strategy should include all types of content your business is producing, which doesn't only mean text. Depending on your campaign, this may include:
- website pages
- landing pages
- blog posts
- images and infographics
- video and live video
- social media updates
- email and SMS messaging
- case studies and white papers
A content strategy helps to make sure that your content and marketing messages are consistent and working towards the same goals, even when the medium is very different. The more types of content you can include in your strategy, the more people your campaigns will reach.
What is content strategy for social media?
Content strategy doesn't only include your website and blog, but also social media marketing. This helps to make sure that your company's posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms are consistent with your brand and are furthering your campaign goals.
A social media content strategy should cover the different platforms your customers use, the types of content you'll produce, timelines of content creation and what results you want to see.
How do you create good content?
Good content should engage your audience and be tailored to the specific audience segment you're marketing to, whether that's through text, images or video. It should answer users' questions or solve a problem they have rather than just being promotional for your brand.
Good content is more likely to drive website traffic and conversions and to be shared with other people, helping to grow your profile. Strong headlines and imagery will help your content to stand out and a clear call to action should tell the reader what to do next.
Read more about how to create engaging content.
How long does it take to see content marketing results?
Unlike pay-per-click advertising (PPC), which is measurable in real time, content marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) often take a few months or longer to see results. But the content you publish will deliver long-term benefits and offer value for years to come.
You can measure the success and ROI of your content strategy using analytics tools on your website's content management system (CMS), social media platforms and other marketing channels. This will show you which parts of your content strategy are successful and which need to be improved.
How much does content marketing cost?
The cost of content marketing depends on many things including the size of your campaigns, whether you use paid advertising as well as organic content and whether you hire specialist staff or a digital marketing agency to help run your campaigns. Some types of content also cost more than others, such as video production, which should be factored into your content strategy.
Like all services, you get what you pay for with content marketing. As an investment in your business, high quality content created by professionals will reflect better on your brand and help you achieve success faster than cheap content, as well as delivering stronger returns in the long run.
If you could use some help planning or executing your content strategy, iST Digital's specialists are ready to help. Call 08 9443 2221 to talk to our content marketing experts in Perth or get a quote to see how we can fit your marketing budget.
What does Google Tag Manager do?
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free service from Google that makes it easier to create and manage fragments of code (called 'tags') on your website or mobile app. This code can give you insights on how people use your website and where they come from, which can guide your digital marketing strategy.
How do I use Google Tag Manager?
Unlike traditional tags that needed to be edited into a page's source code, tags on Tag Manager are configured through a user-friendly control panel and saved into a container that adds them to your website or app.
Google Tag Manager was designed for website owners with little to no coding knowledge, although you may still need a developer's help to add the container to your website's source code.
Read our step-by-step guide.
Do I need Google Tag Manager?
GTM can be useful if you want to handle your own digital marketing rather than relying on a marketing agency or web developer, as long as you have the time to spare to learn and carry out the process.
It can be especially useful if you want to manage multiple tags on the same page, as these can all be included in a single line of code.
Do I tag my website, or is it just for ecommerce?
Google Tag Manager is useful for all types of business websites, as it gives you the data you need to measure the success of digital marketing strategies and make improvements.
It's especially useful for ecommerce websites though, as you can gather valuable data on transactions and other customer behaviour and measure your conversion rate.
What data do I get from Google Tag Manager?
You can use tags to find out whatever data you want about your website visitors or customers (though we recommend not using too many tags on the same page, as this can cause speed issues).
Some of the data you can gather includes:
- how many people visit your website or app
- how they found you (through a search engine, social media or elsewhere)
- what actions they take on your website (clicking links, completing forms, making transactions)
- how far they read down your pages
- when and why they leave your site
This data can be analysed in tools such as Google Analytics to guide improvements to your website or marketing campaigns.
What are containers, triggers and variables?
These are terms you'll see often when using GTM, so it's important to understand them. Put simply:
- Containers are where your tags go – each website should have its own container, though you can manage multiple containers on the same account
- Triggers control when tags are 'fired' – some tags may be active as soon as someone arrives on the page, but others are triggered by actions they take
- Variables are the instructions for triggers – you'll have to configure triggers manually if you're not using presets
How do I know if my tags are working?
You should test your tags before you publish them. You can do this by selecting Preview on the GTM console. The tag will run and you'll be able to see what happens in a separate panel. This also gives you the chance to spot any problems that need fixing.
You can check whether some tags are working by looking at real-time reports in Google Analytics. If you're tracking page views or a similar metric, you should see the numbers changing.
What's the difference between Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics?
Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics are different tools, but they work together to collect and analyse data. Tag Manager sets up the trackers you want, while Google Analytics shows you the results and lets you set goals.
Is Google Tag Manager free?
Yes. Google offers Tag Manager as a free service with no usage limits for businesses that want to take control of some of their own digital marketing activities.
If you don't have coding experience, you may still need the help of a web developer or agency to implement your finished GTM container onto your website. They can also help you to create and manage your tags.
If you need help getting started with Google Tag Manager or you want other help with your website or ecommerce store, contact our team at iST Digital today.
AfterPay / Stripe / Zip Pay
Alternative payment options you can offer to your customers at checkout on your ecommerce or business website.
Amazon Seller Central
Amazon's online platform that businesses and individuals can use to sell or market their products to Amazon customers.
API – Application Programming Interface
The software that allows users to send and receive information when using any application on their devices.
AWS – Amazon Web Services
Amazon's cloud computing platform that features a range of products including analytics, networking, security and storage.
Making a copy of data that can be used to restore individual files or a whole system if the original gets lost or changed.
A web browser is the application used to view and use websites. The most popular browser is Google Chrome or Firefox.
CDN – Content Delivery Network
A group of servers in multiple locations that work together to load websites, images, videos and other resources quickly. Typically used for ecommerce websites to speed up the site which gives the user a better experience.
Data stored on external servers rather than on your own computer and accessed via the internet is said to be in 'the cloud.' Typically the way all businesses are moving as it reduces cost and offers better security.
A copy of your data that's stored on secure external servers, which can be restored via the internet if needed.
CRO – Conversion Rate Optimisation
Digital strategies to increase the percentage of visitors to your website who complete a purchase or other action ('convert').
CSS – Cascading Style Sheet
The code that defines website design and layout (e.g. colours, text styles, table sizes) on different devices.
DNS – Domain Name System
The system that converts domain names into IP addresses that web browsers recognise so pages can be loaded.
The unique name of a website as it appears in the address bar of a browser (e.g. isolutionstechnology.com.au).
A popular cloud storage service that can be used to upload, store, access or share files online using any device. Offers scheduling, backups (rollbacks) and easy collaboration online or offline.
One of the world's largest online marketplaces where individuals and businesses can list items for auction or sale. eBay also offers business store setups where they can connect to your ecommerce website.
Buying and selling products or services over the internet through ecommerce websites or online marketplaces.
Facebook Ads Manager
Ads Manager is the all-in-one platform for creating and managing social media ads on Facebook and Instagram.
The world's leading email service, run by Google. Gmail allows users to store emails and attachments in the cloud. Gmail offers both free and paid versions.
Google Ads (formerly AdWords)
Google's advertising service that allows businesses to bid on keywords that will be shown prominently in search results.
Google My Business
Google's business platform that helps companies manage their online presence in listings, Maps and search results. This include business products, services & opening times.
Google's suite of cloud-based collaboration and productivity apps, including Docs, Drive, Gmail, Meet and more.
Web hosting is the service that puts your website online so it can be found by users and indexed by search engines. Most web hosting is now in the cloud which means its quick and easily managed.
HTML vs HTML5
HTML is the markup language of websites. HTML5 is the updated version that also includes audio and video.
HTTP vs HTTPS
HTTP is the protocol that lets browsers connect with websites. HTTPS uses encryption to make connections secure.
Google now requires HTTPS.
An Internet Protocol (IP) address identifies devices on a network to enable them to connect to the internet.
Landing pages are web pages created for digital marketing campaigns to improve the chance of conversions. These are specificaly set up web pages to offer the right information and call to action 'designed' to entice the customer.
Magento 2 / Shopify / WooCommerce
Three of the major ecommerce platforms, each suited to different business needs. See our comparison here.
Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365)
Subscription service that includes Microsoft Office and other cloud-based software and services for business.
The component of Domain Name Systems (DNS) that translates a domain name into a numerical IP address.
Behind-the-scenes scripting language that runs on the server hosting your website and tells your site how to appear.
A simple web hosting platform that enables administrators to create and run websites and other applications in the cloud.
This is an easy tool to use to update DNS records, IMAP email accounts, website files and SSL.
POP vs IMAP
POP and IMAP protocols sync your mail server to your email accounts. IMAP is better for working on multiple devices.
PPC – Pay Per Click
PPC ads run on search engines, social media and other websites. Advertisers are only charged when the ad is clicked.
SEM – Search Engine Marketing
Purchasing ads that display on Google and other search engines when users search for a targeted keyword term.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
SEO strategies aim to improve a website's visibility in search engines organically, without relying on paid ads.
A computer or other system connected to a network, servers house resources that may be shared over the internet.
SSL – Secure Sockets Layer
SSL certificates are what secure data transfers between browsers and websites using HTTPS.
A simple and highly customisable content management system (CMS) for creating and managing websites.
Markup language that describes the content of web pages, as opposed to HTML which describes their presentation.
Do I really need an ecommerce website?
Whether you're selling handmade t-shirts or a complete enterprise solution, there are many advantages to having your own ecommerce store, rather than relying on a marketplace.
Having your own store makes your brand look more professional and gives you a wider market audience to attract. You'll have complete control over what your customers see, without having to share a platform with your competitors, and can find out more about your customers for more personalised marketing.
iST Digital helps Australian businesses of all shapes and sizes to set up an online store quickly with simple ecommerce web design solutions.
I have an existing online store, can you help?
Yes we can. Our designers work with all major ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. Contact us to find out how we can help you improve your site and reach more customers.
What is the best ecommerce platform to use?
This depends on a few things, including how much customisation you want for your store and whether you already have a website. Our web designers build on established ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce, so your store will have a robust foundation.
- If you want to get set up quickly with a short learning curve, a service such as Shopify could be ideal. Known as the 'Apple of ecommerce,' its tools and plugins make it simple to customise your store.
- If you want more flexibility to customise your store or you have a more complex offering, an open source such as Magento 2 will be a better fit.
- If your existing website was built on WordPress, we recommend WooCommerce, which is an ecommerce plugin developed for WordPress sites.
See our comparison of Magento 2 vs Shopify to get a better idea of which platform is right for you.
Can I try out an ecommerce platform first?
Yes, we can definintely show you the platforms. Get in touch to arrange a time when our team can take you through a demonstration.
How do you ship online orders?
If you're selling physical products through your ecommerce store, you may choose to take care of it yourself or use a third-party logistics (3PL) company to do it for you. Your choice may depend on the number of shipments you need to make.
- If you have the time and resources to do your own shipping, you can store inventory at your physical location, then pack and ship them directly to the customer using Australia Post. This is the cheaper option for a small business shipping products domestically in Australia.
- A 3PL service can store your products in a warehouse, then pack and ship them directly to your customers. Outsourcing and warehousing fees will be charged based on your requirements, but using a 3PL service can save you time and money if you have a lot of orders to process.
Amazon Australia offers such services & we can definitely get you on the right path to selling online.
You can track and manage orders using a shipping app extension. These are available for ecommerce websites built on Shopify, Magento 2 and WooCommerce platforms.
What payment gateways should I use?
It's important to offer a range of payment options for the convenience of your customers, but too many choices can risk making your checkout process cluttered and confusing. We recommend focusing on the most important payment gateways to help maintain a positive user experience.
We can help you to integrate a number of major payment gateways into your ecommerce site, including PayPal, Afterpay, OpenPay, Humm and local Australian provider like eWAY.
How many products should an ecommerce site have?
There's no limit to how many items you can list on our recommended platforms. Your ecommerce website will be scalable as your business grows and your needs change over time.
Can I get help creating product images and descriptions?
Yes. We can recommend a professional photographer if you need to take photos of your products. We also provide copywriting services if you need unique product descriptions.
How can I get new customers online?
A good marketing strategy is essential if you want people to find your store. We can help you to reach more customers through search engines, social media and other channels.
We build your site with marketing in mind and can set up automation to send personalised messages and notifications to your customers at the right times.
How can I increase sales?
We can equip you with the tools and advice to make your ecommerce store a success. These strategies follow the 6 principles of converting browsers into buyers:
- Reciprocity – offering free shipping, free samples, educational blog content and loyalty points
- Scarcity – using inventory counters, limited edition products, limited quantities and select colours
- Authority – website security, expert reviews, high quality imagery, brand logos and endorsements
- Consistency – purchase sharing and referral and reward programs
- Likeability – creating familiarity through marketing and providing a positive customer experience
- Consensus – encouraging customer reviews, social media sharing and user-generated content
Other ways to ensure a good user experience include:
- Fast page loading times
- Using filters to help people find what they're looking for
- Streamlined checkout process
- Flexible payment options
- Clear refund, return and exchange policies
- Service or money-back guarantees
- Gift certificates
We can help to make your website as appealing and easy to use (user experience) as possible, with customer relationship management automation helping you take care of your customers and integrated tracking and analytics giving you the data you need to measure sales and marketing success.
How do I avoid my website getting hacked?
Cybercrime is a major concern for business of all sizes, so you need to be confident that your site is protected.
When you partner with our digital agency, you'll have peace of mind from knowing that the right protocols are in place to secure your network and data, prevent threats and constantly monitor and alert you to possible attacks.
We'll discuss all the security and encryption options available for your business during your consultation, from SSL certificates to access management. To see all the ways we can help you secure your ecommerce website, see our Comprehensive Cybersecurity Checklist for the Cloud.
How do I make my website show up on Google?
It can take between 24 hours and 3 weeks for Google to index your website after it goes live so it can start appearing in search results. Our digital marketing specialists can discuss strategies for improving your Google ranking and helping you to reach more people through search engines, social media and other channels.
How long does it take to set up an ecommerce website?
Depending on how complex your website and your ecommerce business are, the process can take anywhere from 8 to 16 weeks.
In the first 1 to 2 weeks, we'll will sit down with you face to face or via an online meeting to discuss what you want for your business and show you the different platforms we offer and what they can achieve.
Once we've agreed on the direction forward, our expert developers will build your ecommerce architecture (week 2), design your website (weeks 2 to 5) and develop your custom platform (week 6 onwards).
We're always available to offer support throughout this process and after your website launches. Websites aren't a set-and-forget asset, and we'll continue to provide assistance to make your online business as successful as possible.
How much does an ecommerce website cost?
The cost of your website depends on a number of factors, including the type of platform you choose and what functionality is needed.
All of our quotes are custom to suit your specific online business needs.
We offer a range of cost-effective ecommerce packages that can be tailored to your business' needs. We'll sit down with you and go over your requirements so you can decide which price plan works for you.
We understand that setting up a website and online store is often the biggest expense when starting an online business. That's why we help in every way we can by offering flexible payment options and convenient instalment plans.
Do I have to pay for my ecommerce website upfront?
No. We only ask that you pay a deposit so we can start the initial designs. If you're happy and approve the designs, we'll then ask for the next instalment to start developing your ecommerce website. Once the final design is signed off, the remaining payment is due before your ecommerce store goes live.
My nephew can build me a website for $4000, what's the difference?
Anyone can build an online store – there are thousands of blogs and YouTube videos outlining all the steps required for building one. The difference between getting a friend or relative to build your website or choosing a professional agency like iST Digital comes down to experience.
We are a team of skilled and experienced digital marketing & development professionals who are dedicated to helping small businesses achieve their goals in the shortest time frame possible. We've been running our own online store for the past ten years and keep up with the latest developments, so we know what works and what's a waste of time and money.
We are efficient & we know whats best. Why? Because that is what we do for the last 13 years.
We offer a suite of ecommerce solutions tailored to your organisation's size and budget that include everything you need to create a secure, credible, revenue-generating website that will keep your customers coming back.
We also provide integrated digital marketing services to help you grow your online business, including:
- Web design
- Social media
- Digital strategy
- Hosting & domains
Get in touch today to find out how we can help your online business.
What is Veeam used for?
Veeam Backup & Replication is data protection software that operates in virtual machines (VM).
Veeam backs up data continuously to ensure that businesses retain all their current data in the event of software or hardware failure, human error, malicious attacks or other eventualities.
Veeam services include:
- Backup & Replication
- Cloud Data Management
- Automation & Orchestration
- Monitoring & Analytics
iST Digital is a Veeam Partner in Perth. Find out more or start your trial today.
What does Veeam stand for?
The name Veeam (pronounced "veem") was coined in 2006 as a phonetic pronunciation of VM, the common abbreviation for virtual machines.
How does Veeam backup work?
Veeam software operates in a hypervisor – a layer of software that's separate from physical and virtual machines. The software takes a detailed snapshot of your machine to make a full-spectrum backup, which is stored in a secure server off-site.
As your data is modified, Veeam adds this new information to your last backup image to make sure it's current. You may also choose to back up individual files or applications, which are stored in a separate volume inside the backup image.
How does Veeam restore my data?
If you need to restore missing data, you can access your latest Veeam backup using the simple management console. You can choose to restore the individual files or applications you need or the entire backup image to recover all of your data. Full-scale data recovery with Veeam takes less than 15 minutes in most cases.
Veeam's real-time monitoring will automatically detect common issues that could affect your data and will resolve these automatically before they have the chance to cause problems.
What systems is Veeam compatible with?
Veeam is "storage agnostic," meaning it works with all types of platforms – virtual machines, physical servers and cloud-based systems alike. This is because it operates in a virtual layer independent of the machine.
iST Digital can offer Veeam for cloud-based and virtual machines, including those running Office 365 systems (including SharePoint and Azure), AWS and Dropbox.
What is the 3-2-1 rule for backups?
A good rule of thumb for keeping data backups is the 3-2-1 rule. This involves:
- having at least 3 copies of your data (including the original)
- storing backups on at least 2 different types of media (e.g. physical, virtual or cloud storage)
- keeping at least 1 backup off-site (such as in the cloud or a remote server)
This lowers the risk of all your backups being compromised at the same time. Veeam backup can help businesses follow the 3-2-1 rule by storing your backups securely off-site.
How much does Veeam cost?
Veeam offers cost-effective solutions tailored to small businesses and enterprises alike, with lower overheads than most legacy backups. The average business saves 50% when migrating their data backup, replication and recovery services to Veeam.
The cost of your Veeam licence is based on the services and storage you need, with a range of options to choose from. Contact our team to find out more and start your trial today.
What is ActiveCampaign?
ActiveCampaign is a cloud-based platform that uses advanced Customer Experience Automation (CXA) software to help businesses manage their email marketing, digital marketing, sales and customer relationships.
As of 2020, more than 95,000 SMBs in 161 countries use ActiveCampaign's software as a service (SaaS) tools to meaningfully connect and engage with their target audiences and drive growth in their business.
iST Digital is an ActiveCampaign Partner in Perth. Find out more or start your free trial.
What is ActiveCampaign used for?
ActiveCampaign was designed for the needs of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that want to streamline and improve their marketing, sales and customer support.
The platform includes hundreds of pre-built automations for email, SMS, social media and other marketing channels. Our designers can also create custom templates and automations for your brand's unique needs.
ActiveCampaign's CRM uses sophisticated machine learning to track sales, segment audiences and score leads based on who's most likely to buy, among other features.
Analytics tools give you the insights you need to measure the success of campaigns across multiple channels and identify areas where you can improve.
How can ActiveCampaign help me?
ActiveCampaign makes digital marketing easier and more effective. By making sure the right people see the right messages at the right time, you can attract and retain more customers, increase sales and grow your reputation.
By automating a wide range of processes behind the scenes, ActiveCampaign saves companies from having to spend this time on menial tasks themselves or hiring extra staff, so you can instead focus on what you do best.
With ActiveCampaign, you choose the level of automation you want – whether you prefer to be hands-on with one-on-one interactions or to let repeatable processes run in the background.
Do I need training to use ActiveCampaign?
Any new platform takes time to master, but ActiveCampaign is designed to be simple and intuitive, with step-by-step guides to help you get started and advanced tutorials to get the most out of the platform. Our marketing specialists will help you get set up or we can take care of the whole process for you.
With drag and drop templates and hundreds of readymade automations that can be customised to your needs, no coding experience is necessary to use ActiveCampaign services. However, our designers can create custom automations if you have specific requirements.
ActiveCampaign's integration with more than 300 popular applications (including Gmail, Facebook and WordPress) means you and your team can continue to use the platforms you're familiar with day to day.
Is ActiveCampaign a CRM?
ActiveCampaign includes customer relationship management (CRM) software on most price plans. This was designed specifically for small to medium sized businesses that want to simplify deal management and customer contact.
This software is scalable to your changing needs as your customer or client base grows. It can be set up to automatically contact users via email, SMS, social media or messages on your website to provide support or personalised offers, while machine learning artificial intelligence tracks user data to focus on your best leads first.
Note: ActiveCampaign CRM is included on Plus, Professional and Enterprise plans only.
How does email marketing automation work?
Automated emails can be set up with ActiveCampaign to contact your customers with relevant messaging at different times. This saves you the time and hassle of writing thousands of emails manually and makes sure your contacts receive error-free notifications when they're most engaged.
As well as keeping contacts informed about new products and promotions, personalised emails can be sent when someone visits your store or leaves items in their shopping cart, to upsell other offers or to reward loyal customers with exclusive promotions.
You can choose from more than 25 easily customisable email templates or our specialist designers can make something unique that appeals to your target audience.
Can ActiveCampaign track email opens?
When you create emails using ActiveCampaign's drag-and-drop editor, or our designers create a unique template for you using custom code, you can track the success of your email marketing campaigns to see how many times they're opened.
This is achieved by embedding code in a single pixel of a campaign image, which notifies us when someone opens an email and chooses to display images or clicks a link. Tracking email opens lets you see which headlines and messaging is most likely to get results, so you can continuously refine your campaigns.
Note: Open tracking only works with HTML-based emails. It won't track opens from plain text emails or if recipients don't choose to display images, unless they click on a link and you have link tracking enabled.
Will ActiveCampaign integrate with my eCommerce platform?
ActiveCampaign integrates with all major ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce and many more, so you can keep using the platform you're comfortable with to run your ecommerce website.
Note: Integration is only available for Plus, Professional and Enterprise clients.
Does ActiveCampaign have landing pages?
ActiveCampaign doesn't include landing page services, but our web designers can create custom landing pages to use in your email marketing campaigns.
How much does ActiveCampaign cost?
The cost of ActiveCampaign depends on how many contacts you have and how many features you want.
The four service levels are: Lite, Plus, Professional or Enterprise. Our Perth marketing specialists will discuss your needs so we can help you decide which plan is most cost-effective for your business.
We offer our clients a 14 day free trial of ActiveCampaign Professional for up to 100 contacts so you can see how the platform can work for you, with no obligation if you decide not to continue.
Is there a setup cost?
When you sign up to an ActiveCampaign plan with iST Digital, we will quote on the work that is involved in setting up your campaigns. As every campaign is different, it is hard to give estimates over the phone, however we would be more than happy to meet to discuss your marketing funnels and campaign flows.
ActiveCampaign is compatible with all major ecommerce platforms, so the migration process is normally smooth and problem free.
Contact us to find out more and start your free trial.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This is the actions taken to increase traffic to your websites and improve your rank on Google and other search engines organically.
There are two main types of SEO:
- On-page SEO is optimising websites themselves
- Off-page SEO is improving a website's authority through other websites and social media
A good SEO strategy will include both on-page and off-page optimisation.
How does SEO work?
When someone enters a query into a search engine, a complex algorithm analyses thousands of pages instantaneously to deliver the highest quality and most relevant search results to the user.
SEO strategies are based on a detailed understanding of how this process works to help your target audience find your page. Search engine algorithms are constantly being updated, so it's vital to stay up to date with the latest SEO techniques.
How can I improve my SEO ranking?
SEO has changed a lot since the early years, when stuffing pages with keywords and spamming backlinks was sometimes all it took to be number one on Google. Today, these same actions will get a site blacklisted, so you need to make sure you're following the current playbook.
Google uses a huge number of metrics to rank websites, but among the most important ranking factors are:
- Keywords (still the backbone of SEO in 2020)
- Website structure & architecture
- Page speed
- User experience
- Mobile friendliness
- Social Media Presence (shares & likes)
- Content - This can be in the form of posts, blogs, page updates, infographics, pictures
- Google My Business & Reviews (Local Search)
- Email Marketing & Marketing Automation
- Secure encryption (SSL)
SEO experts know how to optimise a website to check all of these criteria and more.
What are keywords?
Keywords are the words and phrases that people type or speak into search engines to find what they're looking for. That's why it's important to include keywords on your website, so search engines can highlight your page as a relevant result.
Optimising a page with keywords takes skill and experience to master. First, you need to know what keywords to target, which isn't always obvious. Second, you need to make sure you include keywords where they'll have the greatest benefit to SEO, without using them excessively and getting penalised.
How do I know what the right keywords are?
Some keywords may be obvious and occur naturally in your website content, but keyword research is needed for the best SEO success. This will make sure you're targeting the actual phrases that are trending at all times and improve your chance of boosting page traffic and beating competitors.
One important point to keep in mind when researching keywords is user intent. Highly targeted keywords can be much more successful than generic phrases when it comes to attracting the specific audience you want. You should also consider the type of language your audience uses so you can match it accurately.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks or inbound links are links on other websites that point to your site. While the link structure of your own website has an impact on SEO, third-party backlinks are even more valuable as a ranking factor – as long as they're done right.
A link or citation from another site acts like a vote for your page. When this site is judged to be credible and authoritative, these are considered high quality backlinks and will help your organic search ranking.
Is blogging good for SEO?
Publishing a regular blog is one of the best ways to improve SEO for your website. Blog posts grow your website and create more opportunities to capture keywords and answer the questions that people are actively searching for.
When you publish engaging, high quality content, this will get shared on social media and linked from other sites. This helps to grow your audience and establish your authority.
Does social media affect SEO?
A good social media strategy supports SEO in many ways, even if these aren't immediately obvious.
Search engines don't count likes and shares from Facebook and other social platforms when ranking your website, because it's too easy to game the system that way. You want to use Social Media to generate traffic to your site, improve brand recognition and get you noticed by influential bloggers, increasing your authority and producing quality backlinks.
Does SEO really work?
Yes – when it's done correctly. A good SEO strategy is, and always will be, the key to long-term organic traffic, because it's about understanding what search engines and your customers want.
'Long term' is the key phrase to keep in mind. SEO isn't a one-time quick fix that will shoot you to the top of Google results overnight. It's an ongoing process that by its nature takes time to pay off.
With Google giving a boost to local search results, it IS possible to be number one on Google through good SEO, even against established sites.
How long does SEO take to pay off?
With a good SEO strategy, you'll start to see noticeable improvements in website traffic within a few months, or sometimes even sooner. That's because it takes time for search engines to crawl the web and update the rankings.
SEO is a long-term investment in your business that rewards patience and consistency. However good your results are after 6 months, they'll be even better at 12 months.
Which is better: SEO or PPC?
Pay per click (PPC) or paid search is different from organic SEO, as it involves bidding on keywords to present relevant ads to your target audience at certain times, whereas SEO is about improving your organic page rank for the long term.
SEO and PPC work together for the best results, but if you only want to focus on one strategy, your decision should be based on your specific goals. PPC offers greater benefits in the short term, but SEO is the more effective long term solution.
Can I do SEO myself?
Most website creators are familiar with the basics of SEO and how to build an optimised site, so it takes more than strategic keyword placement to get noticed by search engines and customers. There are free tools & plugins to help you generate keyword ideas, which can get you on the road to organic success.
SEO is a skill like any other that takes time and experience to master. It's also an ongoing activity that requires regular content creation and refinement, which is time many website owners don't have to spare. Not to mention that if your SEO knowledge is out of date, you could be doing more harm than good.
That's why successful companies hire an SEO specialist or work with a dedicated agency to take care of these tasks for them, leaving them free to focus on what they do best.
How do I choose an SEO business?
With so many companies offering SEO services, it can be hard to work out which one to trust with your money and your brand.
For starters, you should ignore any agency that promises success overnight. That's just not how SEO works and anyone offering instant results is an immediate red flag.
When you're comparing agencies, check how much experience they have in the industry and examples of work they've done for businesses similar to yours, so you can get a realistic idea of what to expect.
When finding the right SEO partner, they should be able to give you monthly reporting that gives you a road map of what they are doing and also monthly report based on data. This can include conversions, landing page information, goals, geographical information and what channels are creating the most leads / sales / conversions.
It's always an advantage to choose a local SEO agency, as they understand the specifics of marketing in your local area and can help you reach real customers over the competition.