E-commerce & Internet Marketing Blog: Tips and tricks in internet marketing. Latest trends in web design.

Mobile adverts & mobile website

Do you already run mobile adverts? It’s not yet too expensive as not everyone is pushing it hard yet but everybody use it already!

What to do? First of all create a mobile website – basically just a lightweight version of the website with narrow width where mobile devices will be redirected. I have noticed really many businesses who really don’t need it create mobile apps. That’s not needed. My corner pizza restaurant advertises to download their mobile app for Android and iPhone and basically you just install another app in your device and all it gives you is just the basic information about the menu and the location. Well, I can see their menu also from their website – why should I install another app in my device?

Anyway, let’s get back to the point – basically what you should do is to run still not inexpensive pay-per-click ads for mobile users. AdWords and also Facebook and still really cheap Bing network! To it now and you’ll see quite quick how good it works! Contact us if you want to get free consultation for our new customers!

Viurtual meetings with free screen sharing via Join.me

When it comes to discussing web design or web development functionality, the main reason why it’s good to meet is because all participants can see the same screen. We can show to each other what we are talking about. Look at different web designs, showcase functionality and discuss everything what we see. But this all can be done via virtual meetings as well!

We have used for many years TeamViewer to share the screen and Skype to do the conference calls. It just works perfect! Our team is often all around the World and also our customers are not only from London but from US, other EU countries and basically all over the World. So meeting in office is complicated but even in London – why to spend an hour travelling one way in tubes, trains and buses and make the whole development process more expensive (time is money) if we can arrange a meeting twice per day if needed?

TimeViewer is great but it became paid (around £400) and we were about to buy it already but then we found JoinMe that is completely free to use the main functionality and that’s you actually need! You just click “Share your screen” and get a tiny URL that you can send to other participants who can then see your screen. And that’s it! Enjoy!

Free live chat in your website

In terms of marketing you want as much contact from potential customers as possible. If someone is in your website then probably he/she is interested in the product/service you’re providing and if there’s any questions then you want the visitor to ask you before he/she leaves your website and maybe never come back. Of course you have there contact form, phone number and instant messenger links but live chat will increase the amount of contacts because maybe the visitor just wants to ask quick question and get instant answer.

One good and free way to get live chat is to sign up for free at meebo.com and then create MeeboMe widget here. You’ll simply get code that you can copy/paste to your website and live chat is there!

Never get your laptop, tablet or phone stolen again!

My friend got his laptop stolen. He called police just to get it registered but that doesn’t really help much at most cases.

Later he remembered that long ago he found a nice piece of open source free software called Prey that makes easy to find stolen laptop. So he logged into Prey website and marked his laptop as stolen. Now Prey starts looking for the nearest WIFI hotspot and once it gets online it will start sending you information line: location info with IP addresses and WIFI connection info, screenshots from computer usage and also tries to capture the webcam shots.

It works also on smartphones and tablets so basically if your device gets stolen you start getting information about it location on map, see for example the Facebook profile of your enemy and if you have webcam then also his/her face!

 

Correct UI/UX user interface/user experience development in HTML5, CSS and jQuery

I love beautiful and full of art design. I love working with designer and customer pitching ideas about whole concept and different elements in design to make it a piece of art, yet user friendly and goal orientated. As I’m programmer, I also love to come up with innovative solutions in terms of programming the functionality once the design is ready. But in the middle there is a important phase in web development: design (Photoshop PSD and vector graphic) files must be “cut” into HTML code, styled with CSS and made dynamic with JavaScript. That’s the job that must be done on most projects and often people want to cut in cost here but correct but that may result in bigger investments in future stages. In this blog post I want to explain what means correct HTML.

HTML5 has 28 additional tags and some new techniques so it should be used today. Also, all browsers support it: Chrome, Firefox and Safari. For Internet Explorer 7 and 8 (IE 6, too) you can just add  to the head following code and they’ll be also HTML5 browsers:

<!–[if lt IE 9]>
<script src=”http://html5shiv.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/html5.js”></script>
<![endif]–>

Cross-browser compatible. Although we hate Internet Explorer the website must look like the PSD file from designer unless designer haven’t used web safe fonts with cool shaddows, Photoshop sharp, shaddow etc. effects as various browsers deal with font rendering differently.

Mobile version of the website is something that still most people leave for future to cut costs but the future is today! How many of your friends and business partners use mobile devices? Android and iOS users’ percentages grow in all websites’ Google Analytics every day!

Some technical must be’s:

  • Always jQuery not MooTools or any other smaller JavaScript frameworks. jQuery is most beautiful and is served from Google! Only single JS file is loaded.
  • Code must be UTF8 and W3C valid HTML5 or HTML 4.01 Strict. Only very out of a box JavaSctipt IDs get in conflict. W3C validness makes it more likely to appear in same way in all browsers and it’s also SEO friendly. Of course beautiful HTML is anyway SEO friendly!
  • Only single CSS file! Different media types can be declared in one stylesheet.
  • Inside the content areas there shouldn’t be any <div> tags. In CSS must be defined the style of titles (h1, h2, h3,…), <p> paragrapgs, tables and images. Paragraphs can have classes if needed.
  • All menus must be with clean <ul>, <li> tags.
  • Use <dl>, <dt> and <dd> tags for lists where needed.
  • For quotes use <q> or <blockquote>.
  • Always <em> and <strong> for emphasis – don’t make text bold or italic instead.
  • Use semantic markup.

Finally one very useful link: ultra–lean set of HTML5, CSS, and jQuery (javascript) files, layouts, and elements designed to give you a headstart and save you 10′s of hours on your next web project.

Don’t wait without any action as hard economic times looming

How you can benefit from economic recessions:

  • You’re small business and more flexible – last crisis showed that high quality SME’s won customers from big players.
  • Do lot of e-commerce as people have less money, they will be looking for cheaper solutions from internet.
  • Do lot of internet marketing as it’s most cost effective.
  • Meet less, use more Skype and remote desktop – it will save lot of time and money. People are less emotional and more practical and money orientated when hard times kick in:)
  • Take a hard look at expenses – what’s the real ROI (return of investment) on each expense?
  • Cut off the nonsense from your products/services as you can bet that others will also really look at their expenses and will buy only from businesses that deliver REAL VALUE!

Recession is actually making the air fresher in business world. All those non-valuable competitors and useless prodcts/services will disappear and you can buy high quality labor with reasonable price and keep people happy:)

What is Google+ and why it will be very important in web marketing.

Google+ social media marketing

Google+ tries to combine best features of number one social media gigants Twitter & Facebook and combines it all with GMail. It’s also connected with Google search, it’s search partners and AdWords. Basically Google+ puts all together.

In terms of web marketing, when someone will click on Google+ button on your website or next to your website in Google search results then…

  1. His friends will get the message that the person suggests your website (services/products that you offer).
  2. It will extend to Facebook and Twitter as Google+ will invite them to join.
  3. Every time someone clicks Google+ button it will increase your page rank. Google+ click will increase your ranking more than link to your website. Linkbuilding will become less important.
  4. When his friends search anything from Google then next to your website or AdWords ad will be text “John Smith, Carol Perrot, …., …. and Tim Smith (all names of friends who have clicked Google+ button) suggess this site to you”

And it’s all free internet marketing for you! Google+ is right now only available via invitations as they’re still testing it but it will be soon available for all and be prepared to start using it. Start thinking how to make people to click your Google+ buttons. One small tip: increase all your prices let’s say 5% and add marketing message everywhere: “Click Google+ button at our website and get 5% discount!”

We say right now “To get 5% discount you just need to go to our Facebook fan page facebook.com/seo.web.dev and then click ”like” button. Finally click “share” and write nice testimonial about e-Stonia.” but we’ll change that message once Google+ will be launched.

Do you think that maybe Google+ will fail and Facebook and Twitter will remain most importand in social media marketing? Well…. Google is already owning Android that is the king of mobile phones future and already now huge amount of visitors on most websites are with mobile devices. Google Chrome owns ~23% of browser market. Google owns business applications and servers. Google owns Google Search and about 80% all web searches are made through Google. And Google owns all the tools competitors want or are failing to acquire.

Believe me – Google+ will be super important for you in the internet marketing World! Contact me and I’ll tell you more about Google+ marketing.

Why MODx developer never start developing on WordPress but even WP3 users switch to MODx Revolution?

1. MODx Revolution calls itself as a CMS & PHP framework when MODx Evolution called itself as content management framework.

2. I believe that although WordPress has way more plugins the fact that you can do ANYTHING that isn’t already there exactly as you need it you’ll develop it in MODx WAY faster than in WordPress if you’re at same level with both.

…gotta run out – continue next time:)

5 questions before you contact your web designer

Creative design

Creative design

There are many web design questionnaires and some are good for some type of web design customers, some for other type of websites that need to be designed and developed. We have also used different web design questionnaires but here I try to create most general one that could suit to most of companies who are planning new website. If you order web design and development from e-Stonia we’ll ask you personalised questions but it’s not bad idea to think about these questions, too.

1. What for you need website? What you want that your website’s visitor will do at your website? What is the goal of your website?

Are you selling product(s) and the goal is that visitor will add products to “my products” or “shopping cart” and then will enter contact details and will click “buy now” or “ask for a price offer”? Website’s goal can also be to make customer to call you, use live chat to ask information, fill in questionnaire, use price calculator or fill in contact form / request callback form.

Website can also have many goals – side goals can be to make customer to join your Facebook fan page, subscribe your news feed, join your newsletter or share your content with friends. Goal can be hidden, too – your website may look like sharing free value and does not sell anything more than advertising space but actually that’s just your landing page from where you try to direct visitor to you actual sales webpage.

2. Who is your website’s visitor?

Web design for young people should look different than for older people. Also, what’s your visitor’s nationality, sex, income and education? Are they employers, entrepreneurs or corporate decision makers? What are their interests?

3. Have a look at your 2-3 biggest competitors websites

Tell your web designer what you like about them and what you don’t like. What’s missing and what’s not needed. At one moment you need to draw your website’s layout and structure so it’s very helpful to look at competitors’ websites’ design and layout. It’s useful to send to your web designer also any other websites’ links that you like with some comments what exactly you like there – usage of a photography/illustrations, color scheme, layout, icons, vintage feel, etc.

4. What will be the functionality of the website?

Content management system is a must these days so no need to mention that:) But – what forms there will be? Any animations? Front page AJAX banner fading, scrolling, sliding, rotating? Interactive Flash solutions (eg. at e-Stonia’s front page)? Web video somewhere?

5. What price range you are looking to spend?

Not only on web design but on the whole web development project. It’s important to know already for a web designer as if the budget allows then designer can draw more attractive solutions that need more investment in later stages. For example there’s no point by designer to draw elements that in his/her mind should start animating if there’s no budget for making it animate in later stages. Also it’s important to know how many hours are paid so how much time can be spent on each element on the website.

Please, contact us and we’ll find you the best solution considering your needs and budget. For new customers first hour of consultation is free;)

Internet marketing TODO list to follow

SEO TODOThere are so many time consuming things you should do to improve your SEO that it’s a good idea to have a list to follow and then start from the beginning. A lot can be written about each task and many SEO tasks could be added but with this post my goal is to provide a general picture. I GUARANTEE that if you do all these tasks during one year (even if you’re not good at all in most tasks) then you’ll get brilliant results in Google!!! And you’re not cheating in any way.

Content marketing (remember – content is the King!)

  • Open a blog for your business to give away free valuable knowledge (write posts regularly like twice per week or once per month)
  • Write also about others to build relationships with them
  • Write an e-book
  • Add Facebook “like” button and maybe other social media sharing options
  • Submit your content to social hubs
  • Bookmark your content in social bookmarking websites like Delicious and Stumbleupon
  • Create an infographic
  • Set up an editorial calendar

Conversion optimisation (it’s not only about the traffic you get – it’s also about how many of the visitors convert into customers):

  • Do A/B testing for landing pages with Google’s Website Optimizer tool
  • Integrate a free (with ads) or let your developer to create own feedback widget and live chat for user insight
  • Create CTA (call-to-action) with single purpose for every page
  • Put all your pages into a list that is sorted by conversion scores
  • Segment traffic as well as you can
  • Do five second test on your landing page (eg. fivesecondtest.com)

Organic search results (SEO / SEM)

  • Keyword research – define and analyse your business’ core organic keywords
  • Architect your site for search engines (directory and file structure, robots.txt, java-script, secure area usage, server-side includes, etc.) Here you probably need a SEO experienced web developer’s help most.
  • Lot of one-way quality linkbuilding

PPC (pay-per-click)

  • Start with signing up a Google AdWords account
  • Join us at Facebook and share with friends to get worth of £60 AdWords vouchers and free service to set it all up
  • Send traffic to landing pages and create just one landing page per ad group
  • Improve message match to get high quality score
  • Improve the CPC (cost per click) to keep your costs down. Remove expensive keywords and leave cheaper ones.
  • Buy some help from PPC experts like us as it’s just a few hours you need to hire us and then you’ll set up!
  • Try some other PPC campaigns like LinkedIN, Facebook, etc.

Social media marketing

  • Sign up at LinkedIN and start networking there
  • Create a viral social media contest page like this
  • Sign up at Twitter and build a following there
  • Leave Twitter open in live tabs so people see you as online
  • Create your Facebook fan page and seed some Facebook fans till you have 25 fans then create nice URL
  • Time your Tweets, blog posts and Facebook fan page posts
  • Connect your Facebook fan page and your blog
  • Have something to contribute/say: Curator or Creator
  • Claim your brand name

Email marketing

  • Choose an online e-mail provider and pay monthly or ask your web developer to set up e-mail marketing platform
  • Ask your web designer to design nice branded e-mail template
  • Start building your e-mail list
  • Segment your list
  • Drip campaigns for acquisition & education
  • A/B test your emails

Lead generation

  • Use Feedburner for your blog to capture and track your RSS readers
  • Gather emails for a product launch
  • Give something away for free to acquire customer data
  • Answer questions in Quora, LinkedIN etc.

Analyse (last but not least):

  • Sign up to Google Analytics (GA)
  • Set up conversion goals and funnels in GA
  • Annotate important events in GA
  • Create custom dashboard reports
  • Find out which areas of your site are under-performing