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Archive for August 2008

A Perfect Web design for your company: Top 5 Strategies

A web design company may endeavour to design the perfect website for your business. However there is no set formula for a perfect web design. A Professional Web design company will strive to strike a perfect balance between various factors that contribute to an effective website presence for your company no matter how large or [...]

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The 7 Top SEO Tactics You’ll Ever Learn.

As a current owner of a website, I have discovered its not as easy as people make it seem. Its a common misconception to think that creating a site is easy. You need to make sure that your layout is easy to understand and friendly to the user. The interface colors and placement of items [...]

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15 Features Your Site Doesn’t Need

The worst mistake in internet marketing? Making things too complicated. It pumps up costs, slows site launches and keeps you offline when you could be online, selling stuff.

Who makes that mistake? You do. When you insist that that one feature is so important you can’t live without it, you’re killing yourself. If you can get 90% of the function with 10% of the effort, shouldn’t you?

So, here’s a list of features I think your site can probably do without, at least for now:

  1. Integration with your inventory management system. If you’re already selling lots online, great! Spend the fifty grand it’ll take to synchronize your store with your inventory system. Otherwise, forget it. Put it on hold.
  2. A fancy content management system (CMS). A full-featured, enterprise CMS is a great tool when you need it. But do you really need it? If you have a staff of two, you don’t. Use Wordpress or Movable Type, instead.
  3. Community content. Yah, community content is trendy as heck. But you don’t need to build your own bloody city. Before you spend the time and shell out the cash to add community content, ask yourself: Do you need to build the community yourself? Couldn’t you use Facebook? Or MySpace? Or something else? Don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t need to.
  4. A talking, walking spokesperson. I’m sorry, but no one needs a little video person that walks onscreen and starts babbling about how wonderful this product is. I go online to get away from that. So save the cash. Don’t add a virtual spokesperson. Plus, they’re creepy as hell.
  5. Video. I love online video. It’s super-valuable to the right business. Is that your business? If you can’t get your message across without motion or a ‘face to face’ human element, use video. Otherwise, save the money and time.
  6. Credit card processing. If you’re selling online you’ll need to process credit cards. But setting up a merchant account with your bank will make you wonder if you’re in a Kafka novel. Instead, use a service like PayPal. Later, when you’re selling in volumes where a .5% reduction in costs is important, you can set up the merchant account. Or, even better, get a lackey to do it for you.
  7. A custom store. Yes, you want your store to look just so. If you can save thousands of dollars and weeks of work, though, why not compromise just a little and use a prebuilt store like Prostores or Volusion? Be smart. Get selling.
  8. A custom lead management system. You want a CRM system that lets you manage 3,000 leads a month. Problem is, you don’t have any leads yet. Try Salesforce or HighRise. You can hook ‘em right up to the contact form on your web site and get 90% of what you want at 5% the cost in dollars and sanity.
  9. Web 2.0 features. Whatever the hell those are. If you really need a feature, trust me, you won’t need to pigeonhole it with some trendy phrase. You’ll know you need one-page checkout, or smart form validation, or a puffy logo that looks like it’ll purr when you pet it.
  10. Multiple languages. Think about your audience first. Do you have a sizable group of folks who don’t speak English in that audience? If yes, spend the money to translate. If not, stop right there.
  11. Your own server. Yeah. No. Start off in a shared, ‘virtual’ hosting environment.
  12. A live webcam. Thank heavens, these seem to be going away. I don’t really want to see what you’re doing at your desk 24/7.
  13. A ‘wish list’. It’s nice to save your favorite products in a little folder all your own. But is that why you buy? I don’t think so. Add the wish list later.
  14. A ‘virtual office’. You don’t need to make your web site look like a real office. I’m on the internet because I don’t want to go to your office! Give me a site that loads fast and gives me the shortest possible route between my question and your answer.
  15. A ‘virtual mall’. See the previous item, and don’t make me slap you.

When you’re deciding on features for your site, analyze the costs and benefits carefully. Consider whether you want a feature because you think it’s important, or because it’ll really help your audience.

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Can We Predict The Outcome of The Presidential Election With Each Candidate’s Traffic Data?

Can traffic to a Presidential Candidate’s homepage be used to gauge who will win this year’s election? Hitwise has published recent data on the traffic both American presidential candidates have seen in the last month (ending 8/23), and while the results don’t seem to shed much light on the forthcoming election’s outcome, they reveal a few interesting trends.

Hitwise has ranked each state by two criteria: its contribution to each site’s total traffic, and the the overall likelihood that a user in the state will visit the candidate’s site (called the Representation index). If either metric is applicable to the election, it will be Representation Index, which indicates the candidate’s popularity on a per-state basis and isn’t affected by the state’s population.

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Close Encounters Of The Republican Kind: McCainSpace Relaunches

Why is it that both political campaigns feel the need to have their own social networks. Barack Obama has my.barackobama.com and John McCain has McCainSpace, which just relaunched with a new design from KickApps after failing massively on its own. The new McCainSpace design itself is functional enough, giving McCain supporters a central place to discuss election issues via blogs, forums, videos, and photos. But I’m not sure who the site is supposed to appeal to other than lonely Young Republicans who don’t have any friends on Facebook.

The site is aimed at “Generation08,” presumably the young’uns that the campaign is having a hard time reaching. The logo and default photo image remind me of something out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (remember that scene with the alien light coming through the doorway?) And then there’s the welcome video of McCain on the homepage (embedded below), saying “Greetings my friends.” Greetings, gramps.

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It’s Great to Be Cutting-Edge… Unless You Get Cut

In  a world of ‘Web 2.0’, ‘mash-ups’ and ‘blogs’, designers and clients alike are trying to push the envelope with their sites and designs. That’s a great thing unless you lose your consumers in the process.
What IS Cutting-Edge Web Design?
Admittedly, it is just as ambiguous a term as “web 2.0”, but it does have meaning. [...]

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Why I Hate Social Bookmarklets & Proof They Don’t Work

The social media bookmarklet has become a de-facto element in most new website designs. And while I love social media and think it can have some huge benefits for websites; I think including social bookmarklets like AddThis to a new web build default is at best lazy-ness and at worse symptomatic of a complete miss-understanding [...]

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