Archive for October, 2008

SEO Facts and fiction

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

There are adverts all over the net for SEO

“Top listing in Google only $19.95″
“Get listed on 3000 search engines for only $9.95″
“Guaranteed results in 24 hours”

The only thing I can say about these are that you get what you pay for, which is basically nothing. While someone may submit your site to 3000 search engines - who cares - there are about 6 or 7 that are key, and a submission to them doesn’t guarantee any listing at all.

As far as a top listing in Google - yes - its possible, its also possible that due to some very unethical approaches, your site will be banned. Finally the one I love - results in 24 hours…..not in this world or the next UNLESS you are personal friends with Sergey Brin.

Ethical SEO is not difficult, but it is time consuming. It requires thought, planning, good copywriting skills, understanding of how search engines work and patience. We have a number of sites that we manage that are at the top of their categories for key search terms on Google, but it didn’t happen overnight, and it certainly wasn’t actioned for $19.95.

Don’t waste your money on these con artists. If you are really interested in results, talk to a pro and be prepared to set aside a long term budget to get the results that you want. It may require creation of content screens, creation of link and site maps and it will most likely require re-writing of your main page to achieve the results you want.

If you would like a quote for SEO, please contact us. We would be happy to help.

E-Mail - a boon or a bust?

Monday, October 27th, 2008

It is dreary monday, and we are helping a client out of an e-mail situation.

This client has a large, somewhat non-tech savvy membership, and everyone has their own web-email. A lot of their members don’t monitor their e-mail and now the server has started to hiccup due to being clogged up with SPAM.

It’s the curse of modern communication that probably 90% of all e-mail is simply garbage selling cheap meds, sexual aids, attempts to obtain passwords or account information, or viruses and it drives administrators up the wall.

Some ISP’s now provide SPAM filtering based upon complex rules, which do help to a certain degree, but in a lot of cases, all they do is tag the e-mail prior to delivery - so you still have to take action.

There are some basics that everyone should be doing that will help somewhat:

  • Take advantage of your ISP’s SPAM filtering - so set up a rule in your mail package to re-route spam to a junk mailbox and set an auto cull rule on this to delete messages after a number of days

  • Never EVER reply to a junk mail item - all that does is confirm that your e-mail address is alive and kicking
  • There is such a thing as acceptable loss - if you don’t want to spend hours a day filtering through potential junk mail for the odd item that is not, then accept that e-mail is not a 100% tool and don’t even open your junk mail folder to go through it
  • Set up a “white list” of people you do get e-mail from, and keep it up to date

These simple rules may not eliminate your junk and SPAM mail problem, but they will help.

If you would like to discuss mail, web design, SEO or any other tech related subject feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

A note to our American Friends

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

The Canadian dollar is taking a high dive against the US dollar. I really don’t know why the US dollar is so strong, but then I design web-sites, I’m not a banker - thank goodness.

Is there a silver lining to all of this? Yes there is.

What this should mean is that the US market should be looking north.

As a rule, I am not in favour of offshore development, as the experience I’ve had with outsourcing (in a prior career) was a monumental failure. Language and cultural differences made getting things done effectively and efficiently a complete non starter, and any potential financial gains were more than offset by the sheer frustration of trying to make things understood.

This is simply not true of the relationship between the US and Canada. We speak the same language (well more or less :-)), have a similar culture and very similar institutions. It’s a no brainer when you consider that right now you can save 25% of your development and maintenance costs by looking north of the border.

We have been specializing in development with English speaking countries for about 4 year now, and have had great success. Even when the Canadian dollar was at an all time high, we were doing a consistent business, so now it makes even more sense for our clients.

Our recommendation would be to negotiate contracts based upon pricing in US dollars, and go long term. This works for both the client and the supplier, as the client gets a great deal, and the supplier will be much more flexible on pricing with the carrot of long term cash flow. A win-win for all.

If you would like to discuss web design, SEO or any other web related subject, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

Web Design in an economic crunch

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

It’s 2008 and the stockmarket is in the toilet. There is talk about a global recession, and everyone is using superglue to ensure their wallets stay closed.

You run a small business and are looking to trim your budget, so the first thing you look at is your web-site. It’s not part of your brick and mortar operation, so it should be the first thing to go - right?

Wrong!

Your web-site is your window to people that are not your customers yet. When times get bad, people spend less - so how can you counteract this? Get more customers.

It may well be time to re-look at your content and to spin a slightly more budget-focussed message, but it certainly isn’t time to close down one of your most effective marketting tools. In fact, it may be time to spend a small amount of your budget on an effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization) campaign to ensure you reach more people.

If you would like a quote for SEO, please contact us. We would be happy to help.