Having worked with many clients over the years, I’ve noticed that many people are still using old, out of date versions of their web browser. Many of them don’t even realise how much they are missing out on!
Most web developers and major companies have dropped support for older browsers like ie6, so some sites will not display how they are intended to. Although all good web developers will insert alternative code for older browsers to display correctly, a lot of new technologies will only work in new browsers
For example, all those nice rounded corners and shadows on your new design will not appear in older browsers without a lot of extra work and code that will slow down your sites performance. You could be missing so many features on your own or your favourite website without even knowing it!
The more you stay up to date, the more it will push the web industry to give a more innovative experience to you, the user.
Older browsers are also more and more vulnerable to modern threats. Of course you shouldn’t just rely on a browser to protect you, but an older browser can be an easy way in for these threats – so why not update?
The best part is that all of the major browser updates are free to download, so there really is no reason not to keep up to date and take advantage of all the great new features out there!
I often hear people in the SEO world saying all paid links are bad news. If you’re buying links from link farms or spammy sites then Google may penalise your website, but there are also a lot of good quality links out there that are up for grabs.
These could include links generated through press releases, directory listings, article submissions or adverts. All of these sources create links that will bring relevant traffic to your website. They are also available from genuine sources. So why should Google penalise you for paying for these links?
In fact, Google likes to see your site being given a ‘thumbs-up’ by other websites, as this shows positive interaction with your brand. Think of the times you’ve shared a link to a site with a friend because you’ve found it helpful, or fun, or interesting…
So next time you hear the term paid links don’t automatically think ‘bad’, because there are a number of paid links that could be beneficial to your website. Simply give us a call for more information about how to create good quality links to improve your Google rankings.
Google+ has enjoyed huge success since its release in late June of this year, reaching 10 million users within the first two weeks! Now that Google + is available to everyone, its popularity is growing and this trend looks set to continue.
A lot of Google + users have described it as a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter – a new social networking tool that integrates with the web seamlessly. Both Facebook and Twitter are available as smart phones applications, so when will Google follow suit?
Google+ is taking its first baby step in to the mobile web world with the introduction of the +1 button to mobile browsers. It should already be available to anyone running either iOS 4.0+ or Android 2.1+ browsers. More browsers are destined to follow.
We should expect continuous updates from the search giant over the next few months. Technically, Google+ isn’t even out of the Beta stage yet – so who knows how powerful it will become once all the bugs are ironed out.
It is estimated that more than 1 million websites have the Google +1 button embedded into them – make sure yours is one of them and call eSterling to update your site today!
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.