RaeSea Internet Marketing Blog

Pronounced “Ray” “Sea”

When do you need a Website Redesign?

I ran across this funny post.

Seeing this made me think of the websites that are abandoned each day, each quarter, by businesses that decide they need to redesign instead of enduring the less glamorous process of website optimization.

It can be difficult to decide when a complete web design redo is needed and when you just need some subtle changes.  For larger companies, this can be decided by their sales goals and what new products are coming out.  For smaller companies, it’s usually an issue of cost.

How much do you have set aside for a redesign?

Will it translate into more sales?  Are your conversions very low?

Has your competition changed their website recently?  Do you need to keep up?

Of course there are the tech questions also such as how it was originally designed and how much you can alter on the fly. 

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May 6, 2008 Posted by | Business, Internet, Marketing, technology, Web Design | 1 Comment

The “Duh” Factor

We were recently working on an email marketing campaign and right at the end of the project one of our designers added in what I like to call the “duh” factor. 

The “duh” factor is basically anything that everyone knows should be in a project but for some reason hasn’t been put in yet.  It may be a simple “buy now” button or “register” button.  Often times these things get overlooked as a project is being developed because everyone just assumes that they will be put in…but sometimes it doesn’t.  Why?

Well, as a project is being developed and person after person is reviewing it people tend to look for the small details and it’s easier to overlook the main points at that level.  It’s kind of that scenario where everyone chimes in and says “we can do this and this” but at the end of the day…did you do what you set out to do? 

That’s why it’s a good practice to add in the “duh” factors right from the start.  Those are not only necessary for the project itself but they can also help keep a project on target. 

May 2, 2008 Posted by | Business, Internet, Marketing, technology, Web Design | | Leave a comment

Viral Campaign Tips

Found a good list of tips to pass on. 

Market over Email
I get a few emails every day begging for Sphinns, Diggs, Reddit bumps, etc. Some of these are good, but most are terrible. If you’re going to leverage your network, tell them to be smart about how they reach your story and vote it up – don’t provide a direct link to the Digg story page. Instead, ask them to check out the piece on your site and follow the Digg link from there. Those referral strings are going to look a lot more natural to the Digg editors.

And for those who really want to analyze Google and their patents check this out.  Warning:  Your head may explode halfway through it.

What kind of factors would those be?

The patent describes how it might associate a query with a certain set of geographical locations based upon such things as postal codes, or alternatively it might take the latitude and longitude of the map window when the search takes place while the searcher is looking at a map of the area in question. After that, it might look at factors such as:

  1. A score associated with an authoritative document,
  2. The total number of documents referring to a business associated with the document,
  3. The highest score of documents referring to the business,
  4. The number of documents with reviews of the business, and;
  5. The number of information documents that mention the business.

September 12, 2007 Posted by | Internet, Marketing, News, SEO, Social Networking, technology, Web Site Rankings | Leave a comment

Forced to Use Windows and Give up Linux

I thought this story was interesting.

In another victory for the Motion Picture Industry of America, a former movie pirate is being forced to switch from the Linux OS to Windows.

It’s almost as if they want to associate Linux with Pirating.

“I had a meeting with my probation officer today and he told me that he has to install monitoring software onto my PC. No big deal to me; that is part of my sentence,” McCausland explained on his blog. “However, their software doesn’t support GNU/Linux (which is what I use). So, he told me that if I want to use a computer, I would have to use an OS that the software can be installed on.”

It’s hard to believe that there isn’t a sufficient tracking software for Linux that can be used.

August 28, 2007 Posted by | Internet, News, technology | Leave a comment

TIVO and the Internet – what’s the connection?

I was reading the Mark Cuban article today about him believing the internet is dead and it got me thinking about the effects of Tivo on the web.

Everyday, more and more people are using Tivo or DVR or On Demand to watch television.  That’s pretty much how I watch everything now, so I rarely see any commercials.  I think a lot of us are used to fast forwarding right through them.  Now what does that have to do with surfing the web?

I believe that we will start demanding that we can  surf the same way or we will consider the internet to be outdated.  If I get used to not having to sit through commercials, why would I sit through them on the web just to access a website?  I am going to go to another site and many times I already do that.  I just don’t have the patience for it. 

Everytime I visit a site with a landing page or intro page, I just want to yell at the screen “take me to the main site!” (and many times I do yell).  It’s like sitting through the FBI screen when I watch a DVD.  But, designers don’t have to use that intro page. 

I think it goes back to:

  • What do your customers expect to see on your website?
  • What are they seeing?
  • Are those two answers the same?  If not, you better have a good reason.

August 24, 2007 Posted by | Business, Internet, Marketing, News, technology, Web Design | Leave a comment

Interaction is Key

Interesting blog post up at reuters talking about how sites that don’t offer interaction with other users are losing ground to those that do.  This author focuses on the music industry. 

Social networking has continued to expand its empire, and music sites have become its latest victims. From January to June of 2007, the sites where listeners are able to listen to music and interact with other listeners for minimal or no cost, such as projectplaylist.com and rhapsody.com, have had a noticeable increase of unique visitors over sites where there is little interaction with other listeners, such as itunes.com and napster.com.

Sounds like people don’t just want access, they want opinions from others.

August 10, 2007 Posted by | Business, Internet, Marketing, News, Social Networking, technology, Web 2.0 | Leave a comment

A blogging Union?

Ummm, okay.

In a move that might make some people scratch their heads, a loosely formed coalition of left-leaning bloggers are trying to band together to form a labor union they hope will help them receive health insurance, conduct collective bargaining or even set professional standards.

Yeah, that will work.  And from the tower.

“The reason I like blogging is that it’s very anarchistic. I can do whatever I want whenever I want, and oh my God, you’re not going to tell me what to do,” said Curt Hopkins, the founder of the Committee to Protect Bloggers.

“The blogosphere is such a weird term and such a weird idea. It’s anyone who wants to do it,” Hopkins said. “There’s absolutely no commonality there. How will they find a commonality to go on? I think it’s doomed to failure on any sort of large scale.”

And the final word comes from Susie Madrak, the author of Suburban Guerilla blog.

“Blogging is very intense — physically, mentally,” she said. “You’re constantly scanning for news. You’re constantly trying to come up with information that you think will mobilize your readers. In the meantime, you’re sitting at a computer and your ass is getting wider and your arm and neck and shoulder are wearing out because you’re constantly using a mouse.”

Your arm is wearing out from using a mouse?  How hard are you clicking? 

August 8, 2007 Posted by | Business, Internet, News, Social Networking, technology, Web 2.0 | Leave a comment

Does your Site work if cookies are blocked?

It’s one of those things that you need to fix if it doesn’t.  This site won’t load if I turn my cookies off.

No landing page or anyting telling me that I need cookies on.  So, I will just never visit the site and imagine how many people out there who block cookies will also never go to this site because no one is telling them why the page won’t load.  It’s just bad design.  Don’t force people to accept cookies unless it is absolutely necessary and even then….let them know. 

 I run across sites all the time that won’t load if I block their cookies…those that tell me to unblock, I unblock..  those that don’t…I go somewhere else.

August 1, 2007 Posted by | Business, Coding, Internet, Marketing, SEO, technology, Web Design | Leave a comment

Domain Names = 21st Century Real Estate

Interesting article over at CNN on selling domain names.  This industry is exploding right now with some domains selling for over a million dollars. 

At the Manhattan auction, Fischer and Goldberger snatched up four names for more than $1.2 million and a fifth for a client, representing only a handful of the names sold for a total of $12.4 million during both the live and silent auction.

The auctions were held during a domain conference in June that attracts some of the biggest players in this niche business.

One name — creditcheck.com — went for $3 million but paled in comparison to the sale of sex.com, which sold for $12 million last year, according to Cahn, who knew the site’s buyer and seller.

I think the days of getting a decent domain name for 10 bucks are going to come to an end very soon.  It would make more sense for those guys to just auction them off. 

They look for names that hit the “sweet spot” — short words that describe a high-value product or services related to it. Words that allow them to own a category such as bald.com and cardiology.com, two of the domain names they bought at the auction.

To help figure out a word’s potential value, they see how many hits it will produce using Google. They also troll lists of names with domain registrations set to expire, enabling them to get a jump on buying it.

They don’t bother with dot-nets or the others.

“Dot-com is king,” Goldberger said. “Dot-net is worthless.”

An interesting read…makes you want to go register some more domain names.

July 25, 2007 Posted by | Business, Internet, technology, Web Design | Leave a comment

Google and Duplicate Content

Here’s a list of 15 about how Google handles duplicate content.  Here’s a taste.

4.   There are cases where Google does penalize. This takes some egregious act, or the implementation of a site that is seen as having little end user value. I have seen instances of algorithmically applied penalties for sites with large amounts of duplicate content.

5.   An example of a site that adds little value is a thin affiliate site, which is a site that uses copies of third party content for the great majority of its content, and exists to get search traffic and promote affiliate programs. If this is your site, Google may well seek to penalize you.

July 24, 2007 Posted by | Internet, Marketing, SEO, Web Design | Leave a comment