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. 

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

SEO does not “run itself”

I hear this a lot.  Clients or friends will tell me “Well once you set the SEO up then it runs itself”.  Umm, no it doesn’t.  SEO is not a one time thing and often times you can put more work into it months down the line than what you do at the beginning.   There are many aspects of SEO:

  • Constantly monitoring traffic – there are so many ways to look at traffic to your site and there are also so many different things you can do to a website that affect this, almost immediately.
  • Constantly monitoring your competition – a true competitor will be adapting their tactics to yours.  The moment you thing they are sitting still and letting things “run themselves” then you will get beat in the rankings
  • Changing with the market – there are many things that can affect how people search and what they are searching for.  Things like the economy, news reports, consumer fears, and momentum.  You have have to stay on top of these trends.
  • dead language – pay attention to how people talk from month to month, this impacts the searches.

Proper SEO will not run itself.  The determining factor in your ranking is often the number of quality links and these aren’t going to magically appear.

April 29, 2008 Posted by | Internet, Marketing, SEO, Web Site Rankings | 2 Comments

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

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

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