A domain name is simply the address of your website – for example, our domain name is www.esterling.co.uk.
You will need to buy a domain name for your new website if you don’t already have one and there are a number of options to consider:
- Type of domain name. For a UK business, a domain name ending .co.uk is the best option. If you trade worldwide, you may choose a .com name. If you are a charitable organisation you may choose .org and so on.
- Should I use my company name? A lot of businesses use their company name as their web address, including eSterling. If you have a very long or complicated company name you may want to abbreviate it in some way. Think about how you will use your domain name. If you are going to be mentioning it to customers over the phone, make sure you have one that is easy to understand.
- What are the other options? Some websites very successfully use their product names or slogans as web addresses. The likes of webuyanycar.com or. diy.com (as used by B&Q) spring to mind. This type of domain name can be easier to remember than a company name and can also help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). For example, if you sell motorboats and you have a domain that contains this ‘motorboats’, you are more likely to get good results for this product in a Google search.
What else should I think about?
- Who is your web site aimed at? Other businesses? Consumers?
- Will you be printing your domain name on stationary or advertising it elsewhere?
- Is your company name too long or too complicated? Or is it already taken?
- Could you use a domain name which relates to one or more of your products or services?
To find a suitable domain name for your website, simply use the eSterling domain checker www.esterling.co.uk/tools/whois
This tool will show you which domains are available to buy. Then simply give us a call to get started.
This week Facebook launched its latest updates which has drastically changed the layout of the news feed.
So far the update has received very mixed reviews. It seems that lots of people are finding their new feeds overloaded and complicated, while others like the news ‘ticker’ as it offers a real-time experience even when you’re not on the home page.
Whatever your views on the update, most people doubt it is coincidence that this latest Facebook update has come in the same week that Google+ opened its doors to the public. Some might even suggest that the Facebook bosses aren’t concerned with whether you like the update or not, as long as your status is about Facebook (and not inviting people to join you on Google+).
While there is no doubt that Facebook is still the number one social network in the world, Facebook must be starting to worry about their status as top dog. Now that Google has joined the social networking revolutions Facebook is facing competition from the biggest name on the internet. Google is a massive brand and the billions of people that use Google on a regular basis for other purposes will surely be tempted to try Google +.
As Richard’s post last week explained, the use of social media like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ should be a major part of any company’s online strategy. Ask us how to upgrade your website so that it is social media friendly.
The internet has changed beyond recognition. I remember the early days when an email address alone was considered one of the coolest things a guy could have.
Can anyone remember Geocities, Netaddress, Yahoo Chat etc? In those days if you could string a few pages of a website together; you were considered a Guru… Yeah. I recall my first encounter using the internet with much nostalgia.
Today the internet is (kind of) the same as it was, however, we have embraced it and are using it in such a way that is far different than a decade ago. Today we are accustomed to using social networking in our everyday lives.
To me, if you are not ‘part’ of the internet by having an active email address, website, social media presence etc, then you are missing out on a massive change in the way humans interact in the 21st century.
Now we have another social media network available to us – Google +, which I’ll be trying out as soon as I can!
I have no idea what is in store for us within the next decade of the evolution of the internet. However, I do believe we are going to see some changes and new ideas popping up all the time.
The internet is now very social…are you part of it? And do you have any fun memories of your interaction with the internet over the last decade or more?
Following Phil’s post on Friday, which was about how to choose a web design company, we thought we’d go back one step further.
Our Back to Basics guide will talk you through everything you need to know about setting up your own website. We will be posting a series of articles discussing domain names, hosting, web design and SEO. All the posts will be jargon free – we promise.
So onto Part 1… Do I Need A Website?
With an estimated 51million of us in the UK now online, getting a website for your business makes perfect sense.
If you decide to make the commitment to having a website which is easy to use and easy to find, you could be opening up a huge potential market.
Online retail is now growing six times faster than high street retail and UK companies are exploiting this trend by selling products through e-commerce websites.
Even if you don’t want to sell online, research shows that 83% ofUKshoppers use search engines to research a purchase before they buy. This is also true for consumers looking for services, making a website a cost-effective way of advertising your company.
However, a web site which isn’t seen by your customers is like a shop with no front door. It is essential that your website can be found by using search engines such as Google, which is where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) comes in.
SEO is about making your website easily found when people use search engines to look for keywords related to your business. We will be discussing SEO in more detail later in the series.
If you would like more information about getting your own website please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tune in for the next Back to Basics when we will be discussing domain names.
Nobody likes a copycat – especially Google. That’s why having content duplicated on multiple websites is a big no-no when it comes to SEO.
Google will reward your website for having unique content – and will punish accordingly if it doesn’t. Using the same copy from the web throughout your site, for directory listings; or even copying and pasting from another site (naughty you!) can seriously harm your search engine rankings.
We have recently been working with a website which had great rankings throughout Bing, Yahoo and other major search engines, but was not getting anywhere in Google. A search using Copyscape showed that the content on the home page was also being used in a number of directories such as Applegate.
Google was therefore penalising the website thinking that the text had simply been copied from the directories. By re-writing the content for the directories we recovered the search engine positions for this site in Google – happy days!
Make sure that you check your site for duplicate content – and each time you join a directory don’t just copy and paste! Take a little time to re-write your content and Google will love you for it. And if your copy is sloppy, simply get in touch with us about our copywriting service.
It’s amazing to think that the number of mobile internet users looks set to surpass desktop users within the next four years.
Just take a look at the facts:
- 89% of theUKpopulation use a mobile phone [Source: Ofcom, October 2010]
- 54.3 million smart phones were sold in the first quarter of 2010 alone. [Source: Gartner, via AOP Digital Landscape Report, June 2010].
- 7.1 million people access the internet through a mobile phone [Source: Internet Monitor Survey, Kantar Media, September 2010]
- Smart phone usage in theUKis growing up to 70% faster than inEurope. [Source: comScore/GSMA MMM, via AOP Digital Landscape Report, June 2010].
These figures really show how much we’re in love with smart phones. And it’s easy to see why – as Claire discussed in her post last week –smart phones can be used anywhere and everywhere. The internet is available to your customers on the go and as long as you have a mobile website, your customers can find you while they are on the train, waiting for the bus, on their coffee break or even when they’re having their hair cut!
If potential customers can find your mobile site from their smartphone, they are more likely to choose you over your competitors. Because smartphones are great for sharing, your customers can also use their phone to share links to products with their friends via Facebook or Twitter – meaning that they can spread the word about your products for you!
Now is the time to get ahead of your competition by investing in a mobile website. These sites are specially designed for new smartphone technology, helping your company to tap into a lucrative audience of new customers that want access to your website when they’re on the go.
A mobile website is different to a regular website in both appearance and functionality. Mobile websites need to be much simpler than a conventional website in order to suit the mobile phone format. This means that there need to be fewer graphics (as these can take time to load) and less text so that your customers can access the information they need fast.
A mobile site also needs to be compatible with the different smartphones on the market and therefore needs to be coded in a clever way. If you find that your current website looks great on a desktop, but not so hot on a mobile, then it’s time to upgrade and get a mobile website that suits the purpose perfectly.
Make sure you are leading the way and contact eSterling today about your new mobile website by emailing us at email@example.com.
When your customers search using Google, it is possible for them to refine their search to shopping only results to help them find the products that they need. This is useful to consumers if they have a specific product in mind and they wish to compare prices between different retailers.
To try out Google shopping for yourself, simply click on “Shopping” at the top left of the Google home page and type in a product name (e.g ‘iPhone 4’). This directs you to the Google Product Search page and here you will find a list of products that are available to buy on the internet. These results can be sorted by category, price, brand and retailer – helping the user to locate exactly what they want quickly and easily.
If you have an e-commerce website, you will not want to miss the opportunity to get your products listed in the Google Shopping results. Making sure that your products appear in this search will help you attract new business and generate sales by helping your customers to find your site easily.
With the help of eSterling, it’s simple to submit a product feed to Google, as we can configure this to happen automatically from your e-commerce database. For further information about how to get your products listed in Google Shopping, please contact eSterling Limited by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Did you know that 80% of people use search engines to find websites on the internet?
- And did you know that 80% of people use Google as their chosen search engine?
You can have the best website in the world, but if customers can’t find it when they search on Google, what value does it actually have?
If you want your website to be successful, eMarketing is something that you can’t ignore. The eMarketing service provided by eSterling helps you to reach customers that are searching in Google by optimising your site to be ranked within the search results.
It’s so important to get your website placed highly in Google and you can take the first steps to achieving this by getting in touch with eSterling. We will be able to talk you through our SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) packages and recommend a service that will suit you best. Email us on email@example.com for more information.
You can not underestimate the value of eMarketing today, because without it, 80% of potential customers may not be able to find your site!
When you work with search engines every day, like we do here at eSterling, you inevitably notice when one of them has had a makeover.
Yesterday our good friend Google livened up its homepage with a brand new Google doodle celebrating what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday. The doodle features pictures of the Queen frontman making up the Google logo, with a large play icon in the middle. Make sure you’ve got your headphones on for the next bit, because when you hit the button you will be treated to Queen’s 1978 hit Don’t Stop Me Now and a colourful animation of the singer in full swing.
When the doodle is done, you will be taken to the search engine results for ‘Freddie Mercury’. Here you can read more about the singer’s life (and how it was tragically cut short in 1991) by reading Freddie’s Wikipedia entry, buy Queen merchandise using Google shopping; or have a look at Google image search to see what pop stars wore in the 70’s…
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Google doodles, they are graphics that replace Google’s normal logo to celebrate a special occasion, birthday or anniversary that is happening on a particular day. Over the years Google has created over 1000 doodles, some of which have become infamous in the internet community. Some memorable doodles include an interactive Pac-Man doodle to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the arcade game and a playable electric guitar to celebrate the 95th birthday of Les Paul.
The best thing about Google doodles is that they change every day and are used to celebrate anything and everything. But just don’t take my word for it – take a look at the Google homepage every day to see what doodles pop-up to catch your interest.
And whilst you might not be able to have your own Google doodle for your business, eSterling can help you achieve brilliant search results for your website. Get in touch with us for more information about our Search Engine Optimisation services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.