Archive for the ‘Web Design’ Category

Convert more traffic than ever before.

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

High traffic levels are for many website owners the ‘Holy Grail’ of Online Marketing and, of course, the more visitors that frequent your site the more authoritative your site becomes with Google. However what can be done to ensure that at least some of the traffic arriving at your site has the best chance of converting into sales or enquiries?

Historically a website has between 5-8 seconds to perform the initial conversion – keeping them on the site. If a visitor is unable to see something of interest within that time then they will simply leave the page and visit someone else’s. This is why it is so important to have eye catching ‘calls to action’ in prominent areas of the home page.

Convert more website trafficSo what is a ‘call to action’?

Simply put, a ‘call to action’ is something that will raise interest levels in the visitor sufficiently to do something. This is why many websites ‘showcase’ offers and promotions on their home page.

Every website home page should have at least one call to action, inviting visitors to act now rather than later. But how do you encourage visitors to act? How do you create an effective call to action?

An end user will only complete a call to action when they see the benefits of a product to them or feel the need for that service. It is massively beneficial to quickly outline your item or offer as efficiently as possible. Combining an attractive image of a featured item with a highlighted special offer price can work very well, but where you place this ‘call to action’ is also very important. Make sure it is visible as soon as the site is loaded rather than having to scroll down to see it.

While it is a web designers main role to ensure that the asthetics and functionality of a website are up to the task, whose job is it to look at the conversions after it goes live? Very often you are left to work this out for yourself if your e-commerce package is off-the shelf. This is where we are different. All of our bShop v4 clients have the benefit of a personal E-commerce relationship manager to assist them in the successful management of their online store.

If you are not already using Bshop4, then please contact us now and ask how we can help you convert your under-performing e-commerce site to our sophisticated online marketing system.

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Static URLs over Dynamic URLs: A Brief Overview

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

If you have been in the world of SEO you would probably have heard that search engines, all the prominent ones, prefer static URLs to dynamic URLs. Why and how? Before going to that let us start from what they are.

What is a static URL?

Static URL is one that doesn’t change. It won’t have any URL parameters and would be quite simple. These are the favorites of search engines. Updating such URLs are time consuming. This is so in the case of shopping websites and blogs that stores a lot of information and frequently needs to be updated. In the case of such websites, webmasters normally go for dynamic URLs.

What is a dynamic URL?

These URLs are created from searching a database-driven website. They are generated from specific queries to a website’s database. Here the date is changed in the database instead of in the HTML code. These URLs normally contain many variables and are difficult for the users to understand.

Why are static URLs preferred to dynamic URLs?

Search engines rank and index static URLs better than dynamic ones. Besides, static URLs are visibly more pleasing for the users as they are more simple and understandable. A brief glance through a static URL gives the reader an idea of what the page is all about. Whereas a dynamic URL contains variables and does not make much sense to a non-technical person. For this same reason users are more likely to click on static URLs that they understand than the dynamic ones.

Dynamic URLs take the last positions in search engines for another reason. That is, they normally do not have any keywords in them. Major search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN give a lot of weight to URLs with their main keywords in included in the domain name. Google now has made some progress with ranking dynamic URL, but if the webmasters try to make the URL look static and hide the parameters, it makes crawling difficult. And this might have an adverse effect.

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Search Engines – Background Information

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Google

Google was born in 1998 after developing ‘PageRank’ that checks the quality of inbound links instead of the number of inbound links as well as taking ito account the type of fonts used in the page, subdivisions and the location of each word and the content of similar web pages. Google has become aggressive when it comes to elimination of spam used in black hat search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques. With Google’s paid Adwords advertising you can customize your own advertisements by allowing you to choose your keywords to direct where your advertisement displays. Google implements cost-per-click pricing, so you only pay when users click on your ad.

Google maintains its own spider based index and its revenue comes from adwords and adsence. Google also has a free directory that is powered by the popular Open Directory DMOZ. Google is currently trying to break into the mobile phone market with its operating system ‘Android’.

Google is constantly expanding and is related to the following websites and companies…

1. Adwords Editor: Desktop application to manage a google adwords account.
2. Desktop: Search application for computers
3. SharedStuff: Web page sharing system that works wit del.icio.us.
4. Reader: Web based news aggregator for Atom and RSS feeds.
5. Blogger: For publishing weblogs.
6. GoogleCode: For open source code and lists of google’s API services.
7. Co-Op: Platform for developers
8. OpenSocial: A set of APIs for building social applications
9. Alerts: Sends alerts based on certain search terms when there are new results
10. Base: An online database into which any user can add almost any type of content, such as text, images, and structured information in formats like XML.
11. BookSearch: Search for the text of printed books.
12. CodeSearch: Search for programming code
13. Directory: The same as ODP but the results are sorted by pagerank
14. PatentSearch: Search through patents information
15. Product Search: Online shop price engine.
16. Scholar: Search for peer reviewed publications
17. SearchMash: Google owned search engine aggregator
18. Sets: Search for searchterms based on example keywords for those who dont know what they are searching for
19. Suggest: Autocompletion of popular searches
20. UniversitySearch: Search engines for universities
21. HotTrends: Previously Zeitgeist, it shows the popularity of search terms over time.

Yahoo

Yahoo originated in 1994 by Stanford student Jerry Yang who created a website named “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web.” This is a precursor of yahoo directory which was a manually generated list of websites organised in a hierarchy rather than a searchable index. It is the second most used search engine. Yahoo’s directory requires evaluation by human editors and yearly payment but remains popular because it is difficult to spam with black hat seo techniques like doorway sites which can still get past google spam filters.

Yahoo once offered paid inclusion for commercial websites which are indistinguishable from other search results. This was controvertial and as of 2006, paid inclusion only offers customers more frequent web crawls and statistics. Instead, Yahoo has now uses Panama which allows advertisers to bid for search terms based on their popularity like google adwords.

Yahoo is related to the following websites and companies…

1. Yahoo 360: A Social Netowrking Site and Blog Host
2. Yahoo Answers: A service that allows users to ask and answer questions. Points are awarded for asking and answering questions
3. Yahoo Briefcase: A free file sharing hositng service
4. Yahoo Buzz Log: Tracks trends in searches made in Yahoo similar to google zeitgeist
5. Yahoo Developer Network: Offers resources for yahoo web services
6. Yahoo Directory: The original yahoo search engine
7. Yahoo Finance: Offers stock quotes and rates
8. Yahoo Gallery: Directory of applications built by third party developers using Yahoo technologies
9. Yahoo Games: Allows users to play games with each other
10. Geocities: Free Web hosting
11. Hotjobs: Provides tools and advice to job seekers
12. Yahoo Local: For finding local businesses with yahoo maps
13. Flickr: Yahoo acquired for sharing photos
14. Yahoo Pipes: Free RSS editor and hosting
15. Yahoo Real Estate: Offers real estate information such as finding rentals
16. Yahoo Travel: Travel guide, booking and reservation
17. Yahoo Video: Video sharing site
18. Widgets: Originally Konfabulator used in Macs
19. Kelkoo: A shopping search engine
20. Del.Icio.Us: A social bookmarking website
21. blo.gs: A directory of recently updated weblogs
22. upcomming.org: A social event calendar.

Lycos

Lycos was launched on the web in 1994 with their search engine crawler developed at Carnegie Mellon University. It is now owned by Korean Daum Communications. It was the first company to launch a voip internet phone in 2006. Lycos receives their web results from a variety of sources including the Open Directory and Yahoo Directory.

The Lycos Insite Adbuyer displays text-based internet marketing advertisments throughout the Lycos Network including Lycos search, HotBot search, Tripod, Angelfire and Gamesville. This service is a cost per click type service that requires that you only pay for actual traffic your site, received from user click-throughs. There are three levels of service: Lycos Select, Pro and Enterprise.

Any web page that does not have a minimum of 75 words is not indexed. Lycos uses the first 150 characters of your page as the summary it displays in search results so make sure searchers see what you want them to see.

Lycos is involved with the following websites…

1. Angelfire webhosting, blogging and web publishing
2. Gamesville multiplayer gaming
3. Hotbot search engine
4. HtmlGear web-page addons, guestbooks, etc.
5. Tripod webhosting, blogging and web publishing tools
6. Webmonkey web-building help and tutorials
7. WhoWhere people search engine
8. Lycos-Domains name purchasing
9. Lycos-Mail email provider
10. Lycos-Planet social networking
11. Lycos-Retriever information summarisation service
12. Lycos-Cinema online video
13. LycosMIX video playlist, chat and social networking

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