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.
Blogging. Everybody’s doing it.
It seems that blogging is the ‘Dear Diary’ movement of our generation. But why are we all doing it? For our own personal memories? For fame? For posterity?
Whatever the reason, the increase in personal blogs has rocketed in the last five years and as a cheap way to share views and disseminate information you can’t get better. And finally where young, hip out-of-work students lead, the world of business follows.
Blogs for business are now, quite literally, big business. Easier for search engines to find and rank, blogs are being used to improve web site ranking and act as ‘gateways’ into a business’ main site.
Blogs are generally perceived as more objective than traditional sales literature, can be less formal and can be wider ranging than a simple list of products and services. With information typically presented in bite-sized chunks, blogs are easier to read than a page of heavy web site text and are more likely to be shared around with other web users. They are also designed to stimulate thought, provoke comments and encourage discussions. They can be used by businesses to filter information to their potential customers. By building up a regular following, your web presence will begin to improve bringing the associated benefits of more business.
And blogging really is addictive. Once the initial hump of writer’s block has been successfully clambered over the floodgates open and suddenly you’re dying to share. Used effectively as part of your online marketing strategy, the sky’s the limit. Don’t believe me? Just try it! Ask eSterling to set you up a simple blog. You never knew you had so much to say!
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.
These days most of us have a mobile phone and increasingly we have smart phones, giving us easy, fast and reliable internet access everywhere we go. Whether we check our Facebook or Twitter accounts in bed, read the news headlines in our coffee break or order our Chinese takeaway on the train home, we’re thoroughly addicted.
And whether you find this trend an amazing experience, or an irritating nuisance it is doubtless a fantastic opportunity for businesses to increase their online sales. With a 24/7 internet culture which goes everywhere (and I mean everywhere – you’ve got to know at least one person who takes their smartphone into the smallest room) businesses can now reach their customers in the most unlikely of places.
To take advantage of this irritating/ exciting phenomenon, businesses are developing mobile versions of their existing web sites, specifically created to be easily navigable on a range of smart phones. By ironing out the bugs traditional sites can throw up on mobile devices, you can maintain customer interest and keep them browsing your site and buying your products wherever they may be.
Speak to your web development company today about creating a mobile version of your website, throw in some strategic online marketing and wait for the sales to roll in. Just don’t ask your customers where they were when they clicked to buy…
Excellent Basic with uncapped commission structure with realistic OTE £25K.
Call to arrange a meeting on 0121 766 8087 or email email@example.com your CV.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.