Thursday, 11 December 2014

Do Retina Images affect SEO?

This week I've been approached to help the website Naughty Naughty with their marketing strategy. Naughty Naughty is a new business based in the UK and they are using a domain that has previously had some bad optimisation done to it by a previous company, this was before Naughty Naughty acquired the domain name.

The genre is obviously nudging towards being adult, which means that the marketing for this business will differ slightly from what we'd usually advise. For example, they do have a Facebook page and a Twitter page but how much use either of these pages will be is debatable as neither Facebook nor Twitter allow adult advertising. However, I'd still always recommend the Social networks as a great way of keeping customers engaged.

This particular area of the adult market is now becoming a lot more common, and people are finally able to look at many of the items without blushing. I think as a whole the 'lighter side' of the market is growing rapidly; for example the gifts and games are growing. It's also becoming a lot more acceptable for someone to buy their partner toys - something you never would have imagined a few years back! So as a whole, providing marketing for a website such as Naughty Naughty will be a lot easier now than it would have been several years back.

Retina Image

One of the things I do suggest which I think provides a great user experience for any online shop is providing high quality images plus retina images wherever possible. Screen resolutions are now getting super high resolution and by providing the user with great quality images it allows them to better decide if they like the products.

Rich Snippets

Another big thing going into 2015 will be Rich Snippets. You can think of rich snippets as invisible tags within the page (somewhat like META tags), however, these ones help Google structure the data within your website. I've advised that Naughty Naughty implement Rich Snippets as a priority, as I think these will play a huge factor in 2015.

What do you think?

I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts on where you think marketing will be going in 2015 and if you have any suggestions for the Naughty Naughty website's marketing strategy you can contact me or leave a commment below!

Monday, 16 June 2014

A little retrospective blog tidying up

Seriously - where have the past two years gone? I finally got some time to myself to have a look through some of my older stuff and came across my blog. Unfortunately I had let it stagnate a bit in the recent year or two, so I've decided to retrospectively go through and clear up some loose ends amongst other things.

I've removed the ads. Unfortunately whilst I had great plans to make a million from Google Adsense, it just never happened - in fact, I didn't get even minutely close to my million target. Mission failed.

I've chosen a new design. The old skin was about as minimal as I could go, I loved the design when I first started the blog, however as time has moved on, I began to hate it. It had a darkish-not-nice theme to it, so we're now set with a nice bright white and blue theme.

I've removed some old outbound links. As proof of how quickly the internet moves on, I have revisited several of the sites I used to visit and several of them had closed down. I removed them.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Broadband Review of Zen Internet

I've been wanting to switch broadband provider for about six months now but was tied in to a contract with Talk Talk. The contract period finished this month so I set about hunting for a new ISP.

I came across this Zen Internet review at Broadband Reviews. I decided to switch to their Zen Lite package for £18.37. The connection is reliable and stable so should hopefully allow me to blog more often than my previous connection - I hardly used it as it was so unstable. *This post was updated on 16th June 2014 to remove the links at the site is no longer live. Apologies for any inconvenience. *

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

UK Metal Theft - Telephone Cabling

There has been a significant increase in the theft of copper across the United Kingdom in the past few years. This is due to a number of reasons, but predominately the rising price of copper, the recession and finally, the simplicity of the theft. I personally know of people in rural areas who have been affected by this up to three times in six months – each time, they are left without any telephone line and thus broadband for three or four days.

Some simple facts about the rise in metal theft (over a two year period)
The theft of metal across the UK has risen over 700%!
There have been a total of six deaths and fifty injuries related to this type of crime!
Some sixty fires have been caused, along with 673 days of delayed trains!

I'm sure you will agree, these statistics are staggering, however the further you delve into the statistics, the more shocking things get. British Telecom have said that over the past 11 months, there have been 480 arrests, along with 240 tonnes of recovered stolen copper. Up to 80% of BT's cable theft is said to be carried out by organised criminals.

Something had to be done about this and the tail end of 2011 had seen a large increase in raids by polic on scrap metal yards, although because of the very nature of the commodity this did not see a lot of success due to the fact that the copper can be easily melted down. There have even been reports of BT copper cable being stolen from the roadside and then shipped to China – in what is being coined 'theft-tourism'.

If you are one of BT''s customers' who this has affected, you will know just how much of an inconvenience this has caused. It is not known how much money business' across the UK have lost due to being essentially disconnected from the outside world, however, one thing is for sure, it's certainly not going to be a small figure.

However, things are set to change! This month, BT have introduced a widespread new technology 'RABIT' – Rapid Assessment BT Incident Tracker'. The technology had been piloted in certain areas in December 2011 and initial results suggest this could drastically reduce BT's metal theft figures.

RABIT is essentially a burglar alarm. The technology runs on the BT network, and instantly informs BT and local law enforcement of malicious attacks, pinpointing the exact location. Therefore, any would-be-copper-thief would now have to remove the copper and be gone within minutes to evade being caught. An impressive improvement on the hours that it would have taken before to first discover that cable theft was causing faults, and then to find it.

It is still early days on this technology, but BT and police forces across the country are both confident that this is going to be a huge improvement on customer satisfaction due to less downtime, whilst also catching the criminals red handed. Watch this space!

IT Support for your business

The development of the IT sector has grown massively over the last decade. As a result, the face of companies is shifting and businesses are becoming increasingly dependant on their IT. Businesses use IT for everything from running their accounting software to filling out timesheets.

Whilst the high majority of the workforce are what is often termed as ‘IT literate’ only a small percentage are adequately trained to deal with the IT problems, when the systems go wrong. Problems can be as simple as loading new software packages, unlocking systems rights or as complex as viruses wiping information. For larger companies, it is practical and simple to have an IT department to be on hand to deal with all the arising problems. Unfortunately this is rarely cost effective or practical for smaller business with perhaps only 1-20 employees.

The options an employer is therefore faced with, is either to entrust the responsibility of IT support to an employee and provide costly training to fulfil the duties, or alternatively to source an IT support contract with a local IT company. Most IT companies have a range of support contracts and can tailor the service to the size and needs of your company. If you would like a lot of services, the IT technicians can be regular visitors to your business or if your IT needs are much smaller and you just require a technician you can call when something goes wrong, then smaller support packages are available.

Why is it better to have an external IT support than an internal IT support? Well firstly, the probability is that a technician from an IT company will have much more extensive knowledge and not to mention experience than an employee of your own. Also a professional IT technician can also suggest improvements you can make to your IT systems and provide support that goes further then just fixing things. It generally works out much cheaper to have a support package externally then the costs of training staff and keeping their knowledge and expertise up to date.

How do you chose the right IT support company for your business? If you want the technicians to visit your offices, it is important to choose a company that is local because most companies will need to be charging travel. Decide on your budget then shop around for support packages that meet your criteria but are a price you think is suitable for the service. Particularly if you will have the technicians visiting regularly, meet with them and make sure you will be happy to have them in your office. Have in depth discussions about the costings to clarify what additional services might then become additional fees.

In conclusion, it is advisable to have an external IT support contract to ensure you have a support system in place for when problems arise and to keep your business running at optimum speed.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The definition of a web designer

A web designer is a person, who designs and at times, creates websites, along with other applications. As it is, web design refers to creating presentations of content which is delivered to the end-user through the internet, with the help of a Web browser as well as other Web-enabled applications such as micro-blogging clients, Internet television clients as well as RSS readers.

A designer might or might not be a programmer. However, most of them have some sort of programming skills. Several web designers are web programmers as well, which means that they are not only the architect of the page but they also implement their designs through programming. Designers can therefore be called writer as well as a computer expert.

An extremely important task of the designer is creative design of the web pages, which is generally worked out with a client who expresses certain needs or that the web pages are required to fulfill. Web designers usually have proficiency in graphics software, such as Photoshop, and many of them are also quite good with programs such as Java. A web designer usually has to work with a number of media programs. Overall, the objective is to create web pages with a particular design, a standardized graphic set, as well as eye grabbing details. A designer might also write contents for web pages, depending upon the requirements of the client, although sometimes they simply edit or program contents that the clients provide.

There may or may not be any difference between a designer and a programmer. As it is, programmers might only implement designs through programming in XTML, HTML, and several other languages. They might set special functions such as shopping cart software. Apart from that, they may also be responsible for the maintenance of the existing web pages as well as introduction of new information. A web designer, particularly one with a lot of talent might also do this. As a matter of fact several designers provide both design as well as programming services.

A designer should always keep himself/herself updated with the latest trends of the Internet industry. He/she must have knowledge of what services have been expected, he/she should also know as to what graphics would be liked and enjoyed, as well as how high a webpage would rank in the search engines results. Apart from that, they may also assist clients in formulating plans on increasing the visibility of the web pages.

In today’s world, where the internet is getting bigger with every passing day, a web designer has an increasingly important role to play.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Web Standards and its disregard by all major search engines?

I'm a big fan of that little icon which you stick on your website 'To show your readers that you've taken the care to create an interoperable Web page, you may display this icon on any page that validates.'. (Do a Google search you'll find it fine!). My main question is if we're all supposed to follow this (and I've been advised on many occasions it helps with search engine optimisation) then why the hell do the major search engines not bother to follow more or less ANY of these standards?

I checked Google, Yahoo, AOL, Ask. None of these search engines follow web design standards?

Is it because the search engines don't need to be found?