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Archive for March, 2007

Internet Advertising - Does it have value?

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Internet advertising is huge

With the growth of information on the internet has growth the amount of time people spend on it, which has in turn generated a new market for internet advertising. Some of the wealthiest companies in the world have made sure that they get a piece of the internet marketing pie, and for a good reason.

Internet advertising is targeted

As a company looking for advertising opportunities to a specific market, internet advertising offers some targeting methods that insure that those who see your ads are the ones most likely to buy. Programs like Google’s AdWords and AdSense match up advertisers with content that their target market peruses regularly. Forget the costly machine-gun strategy of newspaper advertisements, internet advertising is targeted!

Internet adverting enables good conversion tracking

It’s impossible to get a good idea of how many people see advertising through traditional means. Tracking the reach of newspaper and television advertisments is difficult. However, internet advertising allows the advertiser to track the number of impressions an ad gets (how many people see it), and how many visits their business web site gets from particular ads, making it easy to see what kind of conversion rates internet advertisements are getting.

Internet advertising has a lower entry-level fees

If you have a limited budget, internet advertising can be much more in reach than traditional methods. A small yellow-page ad can cost several hundred dollars. However, you can bid for advertisements on Google and Overture on a performance basis. That means that you only get charged when visitors click on the advertisement, and bidding starts at a nickle or dime a pop.

Internet advertising can be much cheaper

Because of the targeted nature of internet advertising and the ability to track the effectiveness of ads, conversion rates from internet advertising is typically much better than traditional mediums.

Internet advertising has greater range

One more benefit is that, since the internet spans the globe, pockets of your target market scattered around the world can all be targetted at once, rather than trying to find different publications, radio stations and television stations that cater to a particular geographical area.

On the whole, internet advertising can be a great way to get the word out there about your service or product in a cost-effective, efficient way.


Get visitors returning to your site

Friday, March 30th, 2007

The longer visitors are on your business web site, the greater the opportunity for branding

Some visitors who come to your business web site will know what they’re looking for, but many others need guidance. Some of them are considering the competition, and if they are shopping online, your business web site has to out-shine the others to get the business.

It’s important to try to keep your visitors on your site until they become a conversion, or to at least build a relationship with the customer through the web site until they feel comfortable enough with your business to come back later and complete the sale.

Below are some ways to use your business web site to increase potential branding, and branding means more opportunity for conversion.

Add some free information to your business web site

The more information you have on your business web site, the longer a visitor can browse the site without running into the same pages. If there’s more to read, it’s more likely that visitors will stick around to read it.

An added benefit of having more information on your business web site is that you will get more targeted traffic through search engines to the content pages of your site, where visitors can be introduced to your brand.

The free information on your business web site can come in the form of articles, reviews, statistics, and tutorials. You can also use this information to increase your range of customer services through your business web site.

Include interactivity on your business web site

People like business web sites that they can interact with. If you have a product or service that can be customized for a customer, consider creating an interactive media experience where the customer can generate price quotes based on certain information, or can see visually how a change of color or size will affect a product.

Keep your business web site live

One of the best ways to keep a business web site attractive and “stickable” is to make sure you have some current information. It has to look like your business web site is a live entity, with new information being added all the time.

These are just a few ways to add stikability to your web site. As long as you keep in mind that your goal is to keep customers on your web site until they become a business conversion, you can come up with some other creative ways to achieve


Ten Tips for Optimising Your Web Pages

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

1. First and foremost, make sure you are going to optimise your web page for the most appropriate keywords. It is important to choose your keywords wisely, especially keeping in mind how often those specific keywords are searched for, as it will be much easier and beneficial to get your site as a number one search result for a phrase that is searched for 5,000 times a week, and almost impossible to get your page in the first few search result pages for a term that is searched for 500,000 times a week. It is important to note that approximately 90% of web users do not navigate past the first page of Google’s search results.

2. Secondly, ensure your keywords appear once (more than once is not necessary) in your meta tags in your HTML code. For example, if the only keywords you are optimising for are ‘web design huddersfield‘ your meta tags should read as follows:

ID30 are web designers located in Huddersfield…” name=”description” />
ID30 Huddersfield Web Designers” name=”keywords” />

3. Thirdly, ensure your keywords appear in your title tag of your web page, ie;

4. Fourth, ensure your keywords appear in a heading tag in the specific page Web Design Huddersfield. It is more beneficial if this is your only tag on the page, and it occurs only once.

5. Another factor that affects your on page optimisation is if your keywords appear within bolded or italicized text. It is important not to go overboard with this by having your keywords bolded or italicized everywhere throughout your page because Google will consider this a ‘black hat’ method of on page optimisation and may result in banning your site from their index. But if it occurs once, or maybe twice, it will increase your on page optimisation and Google will not frown upon this. Example: Web Design Huddersfield.

6. It is important to have your keywords occur at least once within the content text on your website, within paragraph P tags. And is more beneficial to ensure this occurs closest to the top of your web page, and at the bottom.

7. It also helps to put your keywords within the alt tags of the images that are embedded in your HTML file. A good example would be if you have a logo that occurs at the top of the document, put the keywords in the alt text.

8. If you have any links within your web site that link back to the page you are optimising, or any external links that link towards your web site it is very important to contain your keywords within the anchor text and the title text. Example: ID30 - Web Design Huddersfield. The anchor text is the text that occurs within the tags. Hover over the link to view the title text that pops up, or click on view -> source in your web browser if you need to brush up on your HTML skills.

9. Other factors that improve your on page optimisation include having your keywords contained within your domain name and file name of the specific page. For example the following fictional url would help: http://www.webdesignhuddersfield.com/webdesignhuddersfield.html. However this is not 100% necessary.

10. This point is probably the most important point you should consider when optimising your page- stay away from ‘black hat’ on page optimisation methods. They may increase your on page optimisation temporarily but Google frowns upon this and could ban you from their index. So if you go over board with keywords that do not relate to the content of the page, have your keywords occurring more than 3 or 4 times in H tags and B tags all over your site and repeat your keywords unnecessarily throughout the content text of your web site, you risk having your site banned from the Google index. Google really does keep a close eye on this so be careful.


7 Tips to improve your website design

Friday, March 16th, 2007

It doesn’t matter whether your website is of a personal nature with just a few pages or a larger e-commerce website, having a well-designed site is very important. Believe it or not, website design is something that matters to your visitors. It can make all the difference in whether they leave your site or bookmark it. Here are some tips to assist you in improving your website design.

1. Pages that load quickly. If your site does not load at least within ten or 15 seconds, chances are that most people will simply leave. You may have speedy Internet connection, but keep in mind that not all folks do. Remember, 56k modems do still exist.

2. Text on your pages should be easy to read. You will want the size of the text to be big enough, and a background color that does not obscure the text. To be on the safe side, it is recommended to use black text on a white background. If you would like to use a little more color, choose carefully, making sure that the page is still easy to read..

3. You will want your website to be easy to navigate. All text links and graphic elements such as buttons and tabs should be easy to read and use. Links found within your article should flow appropriately. You don%u2019t want your visitors leaving because they were not able to figure out how to get your Flash menu to work.

4. Both your website design and layout should be consistent with one another. If you were to switch from one style to another to often, you may confuse your visitors. It only makes sense that if the website design is suddenly too different people are bound to think that they are at another website altogether.

5. Stay away from music and sounds. Not many people like to suddenly be forced to listen to a certain type of music when they click on your site. They may already be listening to their own music. If you think that your site really does need music, turn it off by default and provide a button for visitors to click on if they want to listen.

6. Focus your web design on browser compatibility. For example, not all people use Internet Explorer. Be sure that your site can be viewed using Mozilla, Safari, Opera and Firefox. If at all possible, you may want to test your website on both a Mac and PC. Sites targeting markets such as technology should be careful, because these readers are more likely to use some of the newer browsers and gadgets.

7. Consider your website design for all screen resolutions. Chances are, you like to surf in 1240×1080 with your screen, but remember, some folks still use 800×600, or even 640×768! A website that looks great in high resolution may not be so easy to view correctly in 800×600.

website design -> Huddersfield / West Yorkshire / UK


Making your website standards compliant

Monday, March 12th, 2007

What is standards compliance?

Web Standards refer to standards for creating web sites that are internationally agreed on as the best practices. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), is the international governing body that oversees the development of web standards such as XHTML and CSS.

Why use standards compliance?

There are a number of reasons why standards compliance used as basis for website development:

  • smaller files and faster download
  • better layout control
  • better interoperability across platforms, devices and media
  • easier maintenance and increased opportunities
  • increased search engine optimisation
  • increased accessibility

To find out more about standards compliance and how it could benefit your website, speak to huddersfields premiere web development agency.


Is the future of the internet mobile

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

With advent of truly innovative high speed mobile devices, is the web fast becoming a mobile market place, or will the limited screen size of mobile devices continue to hamper the growth of the online mobile community?

The president of Microcost, a French information technology firm has been quoted as saying that “by 2020 mobile networks will provide one-gigabit-per-second-minimum speed, anywhere, anytime.” Clearly download speed isn’t going to be an issue. The new arrival of Wide Area WiFi switching devices also means that a complete country-wide coverage of broadband wireless internet is not far off. So we have the coverage, and the mobile devices capable of using that coverage, so what is the problem?

Well, the problem is simple - screen size. Mobile devices have an inherent problem, the small physical size means a small screen size. With faster and faster broadband speeds web content has become much more graphically intensive, and populating these graphics to mobile device screens in a readable format is a real problem. Would you give up your laptop for something with the screen size of a carton of cigarettes - probably not. As screen sizes on mobile devices slowly increase in size and clarity, we are seeing more capable mobile internet applications appearing, but we are still a long way of the utopian idea of being constantly in touch with real time useful internet information anywhere any time.

The solution. Well at the moment there isn’t one. Careful, consistent and clever use of CSS and design can make mobile content useable, but significant hardware development is required before the internet will ever be a truly mobile medium.

If you would like your website to be available on mobile devices, why not speak to us?


Google launch Google Apps Premier Edition

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Google has launched the long awaited Premier Edition of their Google apps software. Web developers and Google followers alike have been happily using the standard editions for a while now, so the launch of the Premier edition is likely to cause Microsoft some concern for the future of their Office product. View the Google press release below.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., February 22, 2007 - Google Inc. today introduced Google Apps Premier Edition, a new version of Google’s hosted services for communication and collaboration designed for businesses of all sizes. Google Apps Premier Edition is available for $50 per user account per year, and includes phone support, additional storage, and a new set of administration and business integration capabilities.

Google Apps TM, launched as a free service in August 2006, is a suite of applications that includes Gmail TM webmail services, Google Calendar TM shared calendaring, Google Talk TM instant messaging and voice-over-IP, and the Start Page feature for creating a customizable home page on a specific domain. More than 100,000 small businesses and hundreds of universities now use the service. Google Apps Premier Edition now joins Google Apps Standard Edition and Google Apps Education Edition, both of which will continue to be offered for free to organizations.

“Procter & Gamble Global Business Services (GBS) has enrolled as a charter enterprise customer of Google Apps, a successful consumer product suite now available to enterprises. P&G will work closely with Google in shaping enterprise characteristics and requirements for these popular tools,” said Laurie Heltsley, director Procter & Gamble Global Business Services.

“So much of business now relies on people being able to communicate and collaborate effectively,” said Gregory Simpson, CTO for General Electric Company. “GE is interested in evaluating Google Apps for the easy access it provides to a suite of web applications, and the way these applications can help people work together. Given its consumer experience, Google has a natural advantage in understanding how people interact together over the web.”

Google also today announced that all editions of Google Apps now include Google Docs & Spreadsheets TM. In addition, Google Apps now supports Gmail for mobile on BlackBerry TM handheld devices.

“Businesses are looking for applications that are simple and intuitive for employees, but also offer the security, reliability and manageability their organizations require,” said Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager, Google Enterprise. “With Google Apps, our customers can tap into an unprecedented stream of technology and innovation at a fraction of the cost of traditional installed solutions.”

Features unique to Google Apps Premier Edition include:

- 10 GBs of storage per user - Offers about 100 times the storage of the average corporate mailbox, eliminating the need to frequently delete email.

- APIs for business integration - APIs for data migration, user provisioning, single sign-on, and mail gateways enable businesses to further customize the service for unique environments.

- 99.9 % uptime - Service Level Agreements for high availability of Gmail, with Google monitoring and crediting customers if service levels are not met.

- 24×7 support for critical issues - Includes extended business hours telephone support for administrators.

- Advertising optional - Advertising is turned off by default, but businesses can choose to include Google’s relevant target-based ads if desired.

- $50 per user account per year - Simple and affordable annual fee makes it practical to offer these applications to everyone in the
organization.

In addition to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Start Page, all editions of Google Apps now include:

- Google Docs & Spreadsheets - With this addition, teams can easily collaborate on documents and spreadsheets without the need to email documents back and forth. Multiple employees can securely work on a document at the same time. All revisions are recorded for editing, and administrative controls allow organizations to define limits on document sharing. According to custom analysis of Nielsen//NetRatings MegaPanel released this week, 92 percent of users of online productivity tools last October used Google Docs & Spreadsheets, making it the number one product in its class.

- Gmail for mobile devices on BlackBerry - Gmail for mobile devices provides the same Gmail experience - such as search, conversation view and synchronization with desktop version - on BlackBerry handheld devices for users of Google Apps. Gmail for mobile devices joins a list of other mobile options for Google Apps and BlackBerry users that already includes a Google Talk client and a variety of calendar sync tools.

- Application-level control - Allows administrators to adapt services to business policies, such as sharing of calendars or documents outside of the company.

“When it comes to our email systems, our doctors don’t have the time or the budgets to deal with managing technology or defending against spam,” said Andrew Johnson, chief information officer, San Francisco Bay Pediatrics. “With Google Apps Premier Edition we don’t have to worry about downloading the latest spam filters or navigating unwieldy servers. This is where we let Google do what it does best, so we can do what we do best - help our patients.”

In addition to Procter & Gamble Global Business Services and San Francisco Bay Pediatrics, other early adopters of Google Apps Premier Edition include Salesforce.com and Prudential Preferred Properties in the U.S., as well as Essilor and Mediametrie in France.

To provide more options and value to customers of Google Apps Premier Edition, Google Enterprise Professional partners like Avaya and Postini are developing a variety of solutions based on our APIs, including email gateways, enhanced security, Google Calendar synchronization, third-party integration with Google Talk, as well as offering deployment, migration, and additional support services.

Google hosted applications are available in many local languages, such as French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Please visit http://www.google.com/a for details on the product, local availability, partners and customers.


Google creates online Photoshop

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

You may be tired of hearing about Google by now. This article is actually about how Adobe plans to create a free Web-based version of Photoshop. But Google’s the reason they’re doing it. Google’s the reason anybody’s doing anything online. That company just can’t seem to find a pair of britches that fit.

Martin LaMonica and Mike Ricciuti over at CNET chatted up Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen, who said the company is taking its Photoshop product online before Google can shove its big butt in the way.

The Web-version of Photoshop, which is to launch sometime within the next six months, will follow a model Google has proven works, and works better than a lot of people thought it would – it will be an advertising supported server-based application.

Just last week, Adobe laid down a precursor to this with its Remix video editing mashup for Photobucket. The most telling quote from the CNet article:

It’s something we are sensitive to because we are watching folks like Google do it in different categories, and we want to make sure that we are there before they are, in areas of our franchises,” Chizen said.

This isn’t to say Adobe is abandoning its flagship off-the-shelf software. From the sound of it, Adobe plans to make its Photoshop Web-version just enough better than other Web-based photo applications to get people using it instead of…Picasa, for example.

For the scores of publications, designers, and web designers out there, insistent upon top shelf (i.e., not common) tools, there’s sure to be a more enhanced version you have to actually get from a store. Besides, as Chizen notes, there are a number of things that need to be done without that annoying Internet lag.

Adobe’s new strategy may be a lesson to other companies still waiting to see if the Web is a viable marketplace for their product. It is viable, and if you wait too long, companies like Google are going to beat you to it.



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