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Are Web Developers Short Changing Your Business – Are You Getting Targeted Web Traffic?

September 28th, 2018

This is a very pertinent question. Are they?

This is a problem that is rife in the Web Development arena.

You already know that in order to grow your business beyond your current customer base, you need to look at the incredible growth potential which the Internet provides. You need a great website and you need targeted web traffic.

Look at the alternative – offline advertising – i.e. newspaper, yellow pages, radio, television, etc. These platforms are extremely expensive and very difficult to analyze any results. Advertising in the various media available will often leave you, the business owner, wondering if the money was well spent.

Did you experience growth in sales directly related to your advertising spend?

How much did your brand seep further into the public consciousness because you spent a certain amount of money promoting your brand?

Was it worth it?

Your advertising company will have ready answers and statistics of course!

Now take a look at how online marketing works.

You are able to track precisely where each and every sale comes from. Using applications like Google Analytics you are able to identify with pinpoint accuracy the exact source of your customer, right down to what they typed in to find you and which site they came from.

This ability to track the effectiveness of online marketing coupled with the massive potential market on the Internet means more and more people are having websites created for their products or services.

Because of the growth in demand for new websites, many companies and individuals are offering (some for exorbitant fees) specially designed and created websites with promises of multiple features, online presence and sales success for your company. All the add-ons are there – at a cost – and a range of baffling technical terms are bandied about to prove how much the web people know about this (and how much of a luddite you are!).

Web hosting, shopping carts, metatags, onsite optimisation, SEO, SEM, online security features are some of my favourites.

They must know what they are doing…right?

Think again!

In my experience many of the sites built for consumers today are almost invisible on the major search engines. After paying a multiple four or even five figure fee you type in your business name and guess what…your website isn’t even on Google’s front page! So you call your web experts and they offer you additional optimisation for a few more thousand to get front page results!

Will this work? Maybe…

What does work are specific online marketing techniques that will put your website on the front page within hours.

In my view, to set up a website in the first place without front page presence in mind is ridiculous.

To show how much small business owners are being ripped off, I ran a little experiment recently to prove a point to a friend who had a website which wasn’t showing up on Google. I created a new business with a highly competitive name. I used a range of SEO techniques and organic search oriented content, and some simple promotional strategies.

Within 3 days the business had the number one spot on Google with over 75 million competing pages! This is the magic that can be achieved with the power of the Internet combined with the secrets of online marketing.

So let’s dispel some common myths here.

  • Metatags carry very little weight with search engines – they are virtually ignored
  • Onsite optimisation usually amounts to stuffing poorly researched keywords into title tag and description areas, resulting in your site looking spammy and amateurish with very little benefit in ranking
  • The traffic you are getting to your site which looks impressive in the statistics is mainly automated (robots) and will not bring you sales, don’t be fooled into thinking these are customers
  • Having hits on your site does not push you up the search engine rankings – having inbound links from authority sites does
  • Having a particular product on your website will not automatically result in it being found by your potential customers. Only by publishing content using the product name in tags, titles and descriptions in the correct way, will your product be found
  • Hosting does not have to be expensive – the two biggest hosting sites in the world; Godaddy and Hostgator will host your site starting from around $10 a month!

This is how it works. All the major search engines follow these rules.

Having a website means nothing. Correct marketing of your website is the only way you will grow your business.

Don’t be ripped off.

Semantic Web Development

September 26th, 2018

Semantic Web Modelling Centre of Excellence

Introduction

Semantic Web Development and dealing with complexity is a tricky issue. Representing information is a problem where complexity can preclude any single approach. In order to find our way around large quantities of information it needs to be structured. But the information already exists and is still being created, so this makes it a moving target.

I’m sure such matters will be covered at the www2006 conference at Edinburgh 23-26 May http://www2006.org/. Kurt Cagle refers to this in his article on complexity on his Understanding XML blog at http://www.understandingxml.com/.

The structuring of ontologies from the top down can be useful, but can only be achieved where the ontology developers have some control over the information. Much of web development and other creation of information is bottom up, in that there is no controlling authority. This is good for inclusiveness and speed of development, and something that encourages community, and encourages individuals to create their own content, which is a good thing. In his interview with the British Computer Society Tim Berners-Lee http://dig.csail.mit.edu/breadcrumbs/blog/4 answers a question on ontologies. He talks of a top level ontology that can be created to hold certain terms and the need to find out who is using these terms, so that other web pages and databases can be categorised. This would be achieved using URIs (Universal Resource Identifier) and RDF (Resource Description Framework). In answer to what Tim Berners-Lee hopes to achieve, he talks of this bottom up development that is going on, using blogs, and wikis etc and a possible approach of ‘web science’ – ‘the science and engineering of web based things that have a bottom up Web-like structure’.

I think this approach is highly relevant to my PhD research on user-driven programming, with University of the West of England (UWE – Bristol). Not everyone has the time to learn programming especially if their main expertise is elsewhere. They then have to ask others to do the development for them and this leads to delays and mis-understandings. The approach advocated here could enable visual creation of software by members of a community. Members of this community would not need advanced programming skills if other members with more advanced development skills could create a suitable interface for the creation of software. This could be achieved in a similar way to that used in visual web page creation tools, or word processor and spreadsheet software. Also the members who do possess advanced skills could provide ways of sorting, searching and navigating the programs created using the visual development tools. Members could work with either or both groups, according to their skills and interests.

A good first step would be to link communities and sites that have a mix of those with advanced software skills who want to encourage and enable others to learn to program, and of new starters who want to learn. This could involve those who are willing to try out new techniques to make it easier for new starters to train learn and gain experience.

Sir Tim-Berners-Lee’s interview – http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=ConWebDoc.3337.

This talk by Nigel Shadbolt explains research about coping with diverse sources of information – http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=ConWebDoc.3043.

This article by Bill Thompson for the BBC technology site examines new developments in Web 2.0 technologies – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4842498.stm.

All You Need to Know About Bespoke Web Development For Your Hotel Business

September 24th, 2018

Are you one of those people who are currently thinking of taking their hotel business online? If yes, you should do it as quickly as possible. The reason is that online presence helps you see more customers. Gone are the days when people use different magazines and newspapers to know about the best hotels. Now, people don’t want to waste their time in searching and selecting a hotel. They use internet to search and to book a hotel in the matter of few minutes.

Considering this change in trend, it is important for all people associated with hotel business to get a great website for their visitors. That’s when they go for bespoke web development. With one such website in place, you can expect more people coming to your hotel, and this will always help improving your profit margin. But, if you think any type of website can help you with your business, you better think again.

The reason is that now people consider so many things before finalizing their buying decision, and quality of your website is one of those things. If you want to expand your business, you should offer all essential information on your website. But, everything should be done in a proper and systematized way. It is due to this particular reason that bespoke web development is important for your business.

In hospitality business, it becomes important to offer some unique facilities and services. This is one big reason why bespoke hotel website design is crucial. But, when you opt for these types of sites, do pay attention to few important things.

* Always keep in mind that your hotel website should be designed according to the SEO rules. Search engine optimization has gained a lot of importance in recent years. It is due to SEO that you can see a clear increase in the number of people visiting your website. So, do make sure your website design complies with all rules of SEO.

* Another important thing that should never be overlooked is that your website should be easy to use. No doubt, it is important to make it look pretty, but don’t go overboard with the idea of making it look unique. Sometimes, it becomes difficult for visitors to explore a ‘unique’ website, and this will never help your business. So, find a professional who knows how to maintain the delicate balance between looks and simplicity of use.

These are the two most important things that should be considered when using the website design services. You should always keep in mind that design companies will ask you to go for specific templates, but you should insist for bespoke web development. If you ask for one such site, it will become easier for you to pay attention to aforementioned things. You will be able to get an attractive website which will also be easy to use. So, go for it!