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. 

Advertisements

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

Marketing One Product

The recent post about “Apple and the ability to Focus“, over on Brett’s Blog got me thinking about our latest project.

 We recently launched the “Skeeter Defeater“, it’s a mosquito repellent that sprays automatically..twice a day.    Cool little product and the faq page has some interesting information on mosquitoes.

But, the interesting part of this project is the fact that the website is really selling only one product.  There are some variations of the skeeter but really it’s just one product.  We managed to create a lot of content about one product and I think the website came out exactly how we wanted it to but that’s always going to be a challenge with only one product. 

Also, the website is running a store and with only one product the design of the store is going to look differently than your “normal” store.  We have a few “categories” but really are users aren’t going to be shopping by category.  They will either want one or more skeeters.  So we tried to limit what was on the store as not to give people too many options per page.  I think that’s an important part of web design…don’t give people too many options.  Instead, guide them to where you want them based on what behaviors they have displayed on your website up to that point. 

It’s the “ability to focus” but applied to your website.  As a web designer, you can help focus the attention of your website visitors on not only what you are trying to sell them but also what they need to buy based on their behavior on each page. 

April 3, 2008 Posted by | Business, Internet, Marketing, mosquitoes, Web Design | 1 Comment

SXSW Goes Mobi

Check out their mobi site.

This is a good explanation of what mobi is and what it might become.  Every designer should know the ins and outs of what it takes to design for mobile search. 

November 15, 2007 Posted by | Business, Internet, Marketing, technology, Web Design | Leave a comment

MySpace and Facebook expand ads

We knew this was going to happen.

MySpace on Monday expanded options for advertisers to target consumers based on the information they provide in their social-networking profiles.

The company, which operates the largest site for meeting and sharing photos and other information with friends, also announced a new way for small businesses and individual users to create and place their own ads targeting potential customers by their stated interest and geographic location.

November 7, 2007 Posted by | Business, Internet, Marketing, News, Social Networking, technology | Leave a comment

Dallas Cowboys and Web Domain Names

How in the world did the Cowboys think they could get cowboys.com for $275.00? 

However, after the organization discovered the domain name was for six-figures, it asked the seller if the sale could be voided.

I think any executive with some knowledge of the web would know that 275 bucks is not realistic for a generic term like “cowboys”. 

October 23, 2007 Posted by | Business, Internet, Marketing | Leave a comment

Content is still king in SEO

I think most in the industry realize this but it’s nice to see it stated again.

Good content remains the best way of boosting a website’s or blog’s chances of making money, a search engine marketing expert told INQUIRER.net.

At RaeSea, we actually use writers who have worked on TV and Movies as a way to both optimize the content and make the text more interesting to the user.  Many times, you can read websites and tell immediately that the text was only written for the search engines and not for the user.  This will result in a high bounce rate and poor conversions.

This is a nice statement from the above article:

He stressed that SEO is not simply about luring people to go to your website and click on advertisements.

“SEO is about helping websites sell more. If people are just looking at increasing their keyword ranking in Google, then that’s not SEO,” he added.

October 10, 2007 Posted by | Business, Internet, Marketing, SEO, technology | Leave a comment

Want to stay away from Vista

Found a nice little explanation on how to stay away from Vista and stick with XP.  It’s time to downgrade. 

To the vast bulk of users, though, “downgrade” is a synonym for reverting to an older version. In that case, it simply means dumping Vista and returning to XP

Also, this is a funny writeup on the problems of outlook 2007.

They hate us – OK, this one might be pushing it, but I’m running out of explanations here. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not Microsoft bashers here. Both our products are developed on Microsoft’s .NET platform and we’ve been a fan of their development environment for the better part of a decade. But seriously, they’ve taken 5 important years off the email design community in one fell swoop.

And finally, 65 reasons that outlook sucks.

Sometimes I see the orange bubble, then it disappears quickly – but not so quick that I didn’t notice it!

Sometimes, a vertical scrollbar appears in a message / preview pane, when there’s no ability to scroll up or down.

October 2, 2007 Posted by | Business, Internet, Microsoft, News, Small Business, technology, Web 2.0 | Leave a comment

Don’t forget to think about conversion rates

It’s easy to focus on getting visitors to your site and ignore what they actually do when they get there.  A thousand visitors and no sales is less desirable than 10 visitors and 5 sales. 

Think about a few things if your website is experiencing these problems:

  • is optimization getting in the way?

Meaning…have you focused too much on what search engines want and not enough on what your customers want?  This is a common mistake by those who try SEO on their own or who hire SEO people with little business knowledge. 

  • Do you know your customers?

Meaning…do you have a firm grasp on what your customers are looking for and what type of shoppers they are?  What do they expect?  Are you meeting these expectations?  Can you change those expectations?

  • how confusing is your site?

Do you have a call to action?  Does your site view properly in all browsers and in all resolution sizes?  We find that 40-50% of visitors to our sites still use IE 6…so design for this. 

  • are you actually selling your product on the site

Now, I don’t mean selling in a sense of is it available to buy.  I mean are you selling the positives of your products and addressing the concerns that your buyers may have?  The visitors to your site may not be as knowledgeable as you think or maybe they are much more knowledgeable than you think.  Get to know them. 

September 17, 2007 Posted by | Business, Internet, Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Web Design | Leave a comment

Google Video Ads

We’ve been waiting for more info about this direction and it is slowly starting to come out.

“It’s a topic that’s come up in a lot of internal discussions,” said Fox during a Q&A session about Google’s search usage and trends.

We want to do the best job of conveying information to the user. In many cases that’s a text ad. In some cases it may not be a text ad. It may be an image, it may be a video, it may be something else. The risk, though, is that we don’t want to show things that are garish or flashy, or other things that might cause users to become blind to the ads.

All of these video ads are going to have effects on both users, those that place the ads, and those that make the ads.  Internet marketing companies are going to have to be able to produce quality ads as well as the long list of other services companies demand.  Companies who currently do most of their online marketing in house will now have to decide what is the best way for them to approach video advertising. 

And finally, those using google…will there be a point of too many ads?  I wouldn’t be surprised if video ads will drive people away from google.  I think there is a sense that text is tolerable but when it comes to video, it’s just not something people want to be overloaded with from an advertising standpoint.  I mean, how many times do I need to see someone doing a stupid dance as some company tries to sell me their product?  I can skim a text ad (or ignore) much easier than a video ad.

There is an expectation when watching tv, that you will see commercials.  There is no such expectatin right now on the internet.  Will it become an expectation or will users move to a new search engine?  That’s really the challenge for Google, in my mind. 

I think that’s one reason that blogs have become so successful, the fact that there are fewer ads and for the most part no video ads.  If I visit ESPN, then I’m am bombarded with ads but if I go to a san diego chargers blog then I can find exactly what I want without being bothered by many ads.  To me, that is a benefit and one that is rarely talked about. 

If you think back, google was so different from yahoo because of their homepage…there was nothing there but a box for searching while yahoo had all of their news and ads.  Google’s homepage still looks that way (unless you use igoogle) but their search results are going towards something very different. 

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