1300 968 960 info@cgds.com.au

Does a Small Business on the Northern Beaches Need a Website

I am still surprised by the numbers of small businesses in Australia that do not have a website, and on the Northern Beaches we are no different whether it be in Manly, Curl Curl, Brookvale, Dee Why, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Newport, Avalon right up to Palm Beach.

A website allows you to communicate continuously with your prospects 24/7 not only on the Northern Beaches of Sydney but anywhere on this planet with internet access. You can get your business message across at any time, attracting new customers, providing information and advice by FAQ’s, you know, the questions that you are always asked and personally keep responding to ad infinitum.

A website lets people know that your business does exist and wants to do business, and is easily contactable whenever it suits your prospective client.

What will it cost me?

I find that for small businesses, the cost to create your website will be somewhere between $2,000 to $5,000. The cost of a website is much less than running a large Ad in a local Northern Beaches publication a couple of times a year and your website will be available and accessible 24/7.

Domain registration and hosting the website are on top of this are approximately $80 annually.

There are additional options, maintenance services to ensure that your site is always up and running and the latest releases of software updated, marketing services to have your site ranking in search engines, so that potential clients will find your site

Ah but I am known, I have listings on Chamber and Trade sites, why do I need my own?

A good start and this also helps with networking within these groups, but not the broader community. The entries will also be a short brief description and your contact details, of your business and your competitors. Having your own website will get them clicking to your site, rather than a competitors by including a link to your site from the referral site.

Your own site showcases your company in its best light, getting the message (Call To Action) out to consumers.

I am not “Technical”, how would I maintain a website?

This is the good news, CG Digital Services build websites using the WordPress CMS (Content Management System) which is a top-ranked CMS that includes hundreds of add-ons. This allows easy editing and adding new content (posts or blogs) very easy, as easy as using Microsoft Word. So that if you decide to manage and update the content yourself, you don’t need to be a geek.

We can provide maintenance, changes and updates of a technical nature which are very affordable

I can build a website using one of the “build your own website” offers.

Yes, you could. That is a little like DIY, small jobs around the home can be done, but not something larger, which invariably ends up as a disaster. Read our previous post on this Compelling Reasons Why You Shouldn’t use Free Website Builders

Don’t have the money upfront to pay for a well designed website, no problem have a chat to us, we can tailor a solution for you.

Call Andrew or Ken for a chat to find out more

Compelling Reasons Why You Shouldn’t use Free Website Builders

Compelling Reasons not to use Free Site BuildersI have been asked by a number of people, “why shouldn’t I just build my own website using Free Website Builders such as Wix, Weebly or Squarespace”.

A website for free, what a good deal, I just need a website – right? No in fact quite wrong.

To build a website, even a simple website, still needs experience, no matter what these free offerings say there is a skill to designing an attractive site that is built for a purpose.

When you create a website, you want it to “Rank”, what does this mean, you want to be found when a person types in (or says) the words that will find the business they are looking for.  “Physio near me”, “Emergency Plumber on the Northern Beaches”, “Sparky in Dee Why”. Unfortunately, these DIY website builders are not Search Engine friendly.

What are some other issues

You will never own your website, as these Free Website Builders , eg Squarespace, Wix, & Weebly  are closed source providers. Your website is part of your business so you need to have total control of “your business”.

You don’t control the web hosting platform, this becomes important if pages are loading slowly or if there is downtime. When you control the hosting environment then you select the most suitable platform for your sites’ needs. As your business grows, any restriction will hamper your online growth significantly, if you own the site you can expand capacity.

You don’t own your content, the company owns your content, so if you do decide to move, you can’t just back up your files & data, copy and move this to a new hosting account.

Even if you bite the bullet and decide to re-create your website, you can’t move it very easily and you will not be able to retain the name that you had originally registered (the URL), to your own hosting account.

More importantly, your site can be shut down for no reason. That is the services may be terminated by sending an email (or not), and all files and data deleted.

After you are up and running, what support do you receive? Very minimal if any at all, after all you are a captive tied into that provider, and once they have you there is no incentive for them to provide stunning support at all.

These DIY website builders offer limited templates, generally have a maximum number of pages that can displayed on your site, and in some cases limit the number of posts that you can add each month. If your business is expanding this is a severe limiting factor.

Bottom line, are you a web builder and designer – NO

Are you the best at your trade or profession – YES

Don’t have the money upfront to pay for a well designed website, no problem have a chat to us, we can tailor a solution for you.

Call Andrew or Ken for a chat to find out more

Website Design Northern Beaches of Sydney

Website Design Northern Beaches

You probably have a website by now or if not you are seriously thinking it is about time that your business was given some extra help. So maybe it is time to contact some digital experts to get your business moving on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

Northern Beaches website design experts CG Digital Services work closely with small to medium businesses located on the northern peninsula of Sydney – better known to locals as the “insular peninsula”. Outsiders say we don’t like to leave the area – as residents we all know why!

CG Digital Services has worked closely with the Warringah Chamber of Commerce to recently launch their revamped site that is now both easy to navigate and very user friendly. For examples of some of our other work:

The principals of CG Digital Services, Ken & Andrew are long time residents of the Northern Beaches of Sydney and have a firm understanding of the work, social & family commitments that the Peninsula lifestyle lends itself to. So our services are tailored to work around these priorities to keep pressure to a minimum. If you are in a hurry then we can keep pace with your requirements as well.

Contact us on 1300 968 960 for an obligation free consultation where we:

  • Gain an understanding of what you want your website to achieve
  • Review your existing site
  • Provide a written proposal outlining all upfront costs to build and maintain your website
  • Offer a back end maintenance program that keeps all your site’s tools up to date
  • Digital marketing program (SEO) designed to make your business thrive online
  • Monthly report explaining in layman’s terms what is happening with your site.

No time like the present to give the Northern Beaches web design experts a call on 1300 968 960

Other Pages Your Website Should Consider

Other Pages Your Website Should Consider

What Pages Should I Include

Other Must Have Pages

Most of this is should be self-evident, but it is amazing that some of these “Must Have” pages are not thought about or are simply overlooked when designing a website

1. Product Description

Should you put all of your product information online or just some of your products – YES, you should put everything online, to showcase your wares.

The vital element is how you present this product information that is key to users searching your products or simply clicking off if the layout is not simple and easy to use, or is not presenting the products in a way that gives a good user experience.

The reason that people search online is they want information. They have questions they want answered and problems they want solved. – this is a simple straightforward fact.

Describing your product or service in sufficient detail allows visitors decide if what you’re offering meets their needs. The more you tell, the better your opportunity to sell.  If you don’t provide enough detail, they’ll just click to another site.


2. Testimonials

It is important for you to tout your own abilities, but objective, third-party testimonials are far more believable.

There are two opportunities here, include a page on your website that has quotes from your customers and/or include testimonials in the product description.

These quotes need to specific and detailed. If at possible include full names and title and location, as that will further enhance the credibility of the testimonials.

Better than written testimonials are videos that let the satisfied customer tell his or her story on camera. This is very easy to do with any Smartphone or iPhone and submit to YouTube.

Depending on the Product or Service a case study may be appropriate, so this is something worth keeping in mind as well. These are generally more in depth, so take time and effort to plan, execute and publish.


3. Frequently Asked Questions

An FAQ page gives you an opportunity to educate your prospective buyer. Not only can you provide a great deal of information here, you can also highlight your company’s products and capabilities in an unobtrusive manner. Ask the questions that show off your product’s unique qualities.

FAQ’s are also a good area to common sales objections by presenting them in an informative Q/A format.

If you have many FAQs, then simply break them into categories that make the page easy to navigate, remember you are providing a good user experience so that your user stays on page.  Learn more about what to include on your FAQ page here.

4. Opt-in Offer

As we know from our own experience at searching online, the majority visitors don’t buy the first time they visit a website. They shop around. They think it over. They procrastinate.

So how can you improve your chances if you only get one shot at it? Make sure that you give more than one shot for the new client to make a decision.

Offer a free report, e-newsletter or eBook that’s relevant. Once the visitor Opts-in you get their email address. This gives you the opportunity to stay in touch, promoting your products & services keeping your name in front of them. When they’re ready to make a decision, they will come back to you as you have kept in contact and have also been providing relevant data and facts.

Why SEO Is Important In Any Website Strategy

Why SEO Is Important In Any Website Strategy 

Office Workers Discussing SEO

Important discussion about SEO strategy

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategies in the early days (I’m going back to the turn of the century) was how one could best ‘game’ the various search engines so that your website would rank higher. The importance of SEO in the ‘early’ days was not as highly regarded as it is today – it is so much more competitive today as the number of websites continues to be added to the ‘net’ daily at an exponential rate.

The complex ranking algorithm created by Google has become so intuitive that the constant searches performed by the Google ‘bots’ will soon recognise a site that is not playing by the rules. Google, which is the #1 search engine, constantly revises the SEO algorithm on a daily basis, which means that we all need to be “on our toes” as it is constantly evolving.

How You Use Keywords Is An Important SEO Strategy

In earlier days “keyword stuffing” (where one would repeat the keyword multiple times into the meta description & article itself) was very common as well as some more creative “black hat” SEO techniques were used to assist in ranking a site higher. These techniques are heavily frowned upon nowadays and your site will be penalised from a rankings perspective by the relevant search engines.

The method that Google has used to measure and rank your site has become more sophisticated and will continue to be refined further as new technology (Artificial Intelligence – better known as AI) is refined which will allows it’s bots to become more human like when it is ‘crawling over’ a website.

The mantra for Google’s appraisal of a website is now all about the user experience when someone makes an online visit to your business. So what you need to consider when drawing traffic to your site is:

  • When a visitor clicks on a link or your meta description in search of information, products or services then the information better relate to their enquiry
  • Is your information written naturally so that the keyword density is not more than 1-1.5% in the article?
  • How easy is your site is to navigate around – many visitors (I’ve experienced it many times myself) give up in frustration due to poor navigation.
  • Images – the images that are included on pages & articles need to be referenced – so that when you hover over the image some text explaining or referencing the image should be displayed. Keywords should be used in the image if possible. At the time of writing the ‘bots’ do not have the AI to understand what the image is about unless there is text integrated.
  • Is your site using a theme that is “mobile friendly” – meaning does it reformat correctly when someone opens the site on a mobile device? If not your site will be penalised by the search engines.
  • How much time does a visitor spend on your site and how many pages are being read will all be measured by the bots.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Be Important In SEO Strategy

All the big players from Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Intel, IBM, Amazon…….the list goes on as they race to become leaders in this rapidly developing technology. It is already with us in our everyday lives with smartphones, self-driving cars from Tesla, Google & Apple as well as many other applications. What it will be providing in the future is mind-boggling. Venture Capitalists (VC) have been investing in AI for 5 consecutive quarters that indicates there are some amazing things happening in this technology niche.

Speaking for searches on mobile devices will explode over the next few years. So rather than typing the words into your search engine you will be speaking into your mobile device (you do already with Siri – with mixed success). However the quality of Siri’s competitors is about to go to a whole new level. An incredible statistic is that currently 20% of mobile searching is now done by voice activation.

So What Does AI Searching Have To Do With SEO Strategy?

You will need to ensure that your site is going to not only be optimised for written keywords but also for spoken keyword searches. You now need to consider what your prospective clients will be speaking when searching for information, solutions to problems, products or services.

A couple of examples:

Written Keyword Spoken Keyword
Great seafood restaurant in Manly “What’s a good seafood restaurant in Manly”
Reliable Ford mechanic in Brookvale “I want a Ford mechanic in near me”
Northern Beaches mortgage broker “connect a mortgage broker near me”
Fast reliable Northern Beaches Plumber “I need a plumber who is nearby”


SEO is changing at the same rate that technology is and for that reason we strongly advise that you stay in touch with your technology experts to ensure that you do not fall off the search engine radar.

If you would like more information or would like to discuss an SEO strategy for your business than please contact us at CG Digital Services or phone 1300 968 960.

5 Essential Pages Your Website Must Have

5 Essential Pages Your Website Must Have

 Essential Pages Your Website Must Have


I am still amazed that there are websites that don’t understand the need to include the basic essential Web Pages

5 Essential Website Pages

1. Home Page

Most users, whether they find you via a search engine or your promotional materials (Leaflets, Print Advertising, Word of Mouth), will land first on your home page. So be sure that it has an appealing design and engaging sales copy or Call to Action. You won’t get more than a few seconds to make your case, as your visitors quickly determine whether you’re the solution they seek. Therefore, the words you use to describe your product or service, along with any relevant images, are key to the success of your website and your business. Your Home Page should accomplish three main objectives:

  1. immediately draw the visitor in with exciting benefits,
  2. show the visitor the options available for navigating around your site, and
  3. establish your credibility.

2. About Us

Your About Us page gives you an opportunity to let prospects who you are, what you do and what you can offer. It is one of the most important pages that is frequently visited. Don’t waste their time with doublespeak about your commitment to quality and your all-encompassing corporate mission. Empty words that serve no purpose for your visitors will have them clicking off your site. Think of this as your 3 minute (or elevator) pitch, to quickly and succinctly let a new prospect know why they should use your services & products and that you are a legitimate business

New Clients want to know answers to questions such as:

  • Is the company large or small
  • Is it local
  • How long have you been in business
  • Who runs it
  • Where are you based
  • Why is your company special
  • What are your core values
  • Why would I buy from you and not a competitor – “what’s in it for me”

3. Contact Us

Make sure that it is very easy and simple for a visitor to get in touch with you. You may have a preference eg email, or phone call. Even give an emphasis to your preferred method, however some users may prefer another method and you must allow for this, for ease of use for your visitors. Give ALL your contact information so that your visitors have a choice, regardless of whether you have a preference of how they contact you. Don’t make them search for it, make it obvious, put the phone number, Put in an email form that they can submit. Put in a map that shows your location if they want to visit your business. A physical address on this page inspires trust. Prospects want to know that you have a real location and are not just an email company. Some just want to deal with someone local. Don’t make visitors fill out a lengthy form asking personal information.

4. Privacy Policy

A Privacy Policy is essential in defining how the website operates, as well the policy on privacy regarding users of the site. The Privacy Policy defines such areas as gathering of any personal data, protection of data gathered, policy on “cookies”, how Ads may or may not appear and Privacy Policy changes

5. Terms of Use

This governs the terms and conditions of use of the website. All content, services and products available. It is essentially the “Agreement” that a user agrees to when they use your site. Another important point to note is that these Terms of Use also govern where any legal activity, however unlikely, will take place. This is usually where a business is registered or the owner resides

6 Steps For Website Design

6 Steps For Website Design

6 steps for web design6 Steps For Website Design

1. Products and Customers

    • Identify the main products & services
    • Who wants these products & services
    • Who does the business want to attract
    • What is the main focus and call to action

2. Keywords and Competition

    • What are people typing in search engines to find your product or service
    • Brainstorm suitable keywords, generic industry terms, specific product or service offerings, common abbreviations or everyday slang
    • Check out competitive businesses, what do they offer

3. Core Purpose Pages

    • Based on the top products/services/actions
    • Aim for 3 – 4 main categories

4. Home Page

    • The landing page is where users will first view your site
      • The first 5 – 10 seconds are critical
    • Main benefit, what will they get for spending their money with you
    • Unique Selling Proposition (USP) why will people choose this business
    • Core page links, contact details
    • Call To Action

5. Supporting Posts

    • Articles/blogs to support the Core Purpose Pages

6. Compliance Pages

    • Contact Us, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy

Key Thoughts

  • There are websites and websites, some grab our attention, others simply do not, and we move onto another business (website), the above steps are essential when planning a website in getting the basics correct.
  • If you overlook any of these keys steps then you will be missing out on people finding and navigating your site to find the product or service they are after and selecting it there and then
  • It is essential to grab the users attention within the first 5 – 10 seconds, otherwise they will move on.

Local Businesses Without Websites

Recently we personally reviewed many local businesses in the Northern Beaches area, and not surprisingly (to us here at CGDS) we can confirm that many have no website to display their products and services, or to let potential clients that they exist and what they offer.

What does this mean for local small and medium businesses, without a website? It means that they are losing business to their competitors who have websites, by not showcasing their products, services, expertise and experience on a site that is specifically designed to highlight the business with a targeted Call to Action that tells potential clients about the offerings and how they can quickly make contact to get a quote, have someone call back or order a product online


46% of small businesses have no website

Amanda Soderlund

Analyst, Clutch

This data is from a survey carried out in Mid 2016, although US centric, from our own assessment this is the situation here in the Northern Beaches and gernerally throughout Australia. What does this mean for you?

That there are great opportunities to get a head start on your competitors by having you own website, professionally designed, built and implemented by CGDS