TimBerr Web Solutions & Designs Blogging Page.

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Keynote presentation at Joomla World Conference 2016.

Eric Kuan works at Google on helping and educating webmasters on how they can create great websites. JCM interviewed him to find what he has in store for us in his upcoming keynote presentation at Joomla World Conference 2016.

Read here about some of his valuable insights and heed his advice.

Eric Kuan works at Google

Internet crushes TV and Radio in South Africa

still in doubt about spending money on Digital Marketing?

SEO and digital marketing are not just some fancy nerd speak anymore, but are fast becoming highly important in marketing and advertising in the South African business environment.

Have a quick look at some interesting stats on the amount of time South Africans are spending online.

Mybroadband.co.za has some info which should have you rethinking your marketing strategies and advertising budgets.

Google gets upset by Black Hat.

Google gets upset by Black Hat.

Beware of using Black hat techniques in your rush to to rank number one on Google search.

If you thought you were " too cool for schoool " and implemented some of the following tactics to jump up the rankings and get a million visits a day on your website, Google may just hit you hard, knock you down, and if you don't fix up they will knock you OUT!

  • Selling or buying links
  • Doorway pages
  • Unnatural links
  • Redirection
  • User generated spam content
  • Cloaking

Read this great article on searchenginewatch.com 12 companies that were hit hard by Google.

Even the Big Boys mess it up sometimes

Google’s latest event

everything you missed at Tuesday's Google event!

Read what mashable.com has to say about Googles latest event where they announced the launch of % new and exciting products.

The Pixel Phone

Daydream View

Google WiFi

Chromecast Ultra

Google Home

Google’s latest algorithm update

Was there an update and what might it affect?

There has been interesting speculation over whether there was a Google algorithm update released recently and although Google can be very cagey about algorithm updates, this article on ClickZ provides some interesting reading

Click here to see what JOHN MUELLER at Google had to say.

Why have a website?

A: That's a good question. In fact, it's one of the most important and most frequently asked questions of the digital business age. Before I answer, however, let's flash back to the very first time I was asked this question. It was circa 1998, during the toddler years of the internet.

I was giving a speech on the impact of the internet on small business at an association luncheon in Montgomery, Alabama. Back in 1998, which was decades ago in internet years, the future of e-commerce was anybody's guess, but even the most negative futurists agreed that all the signs indicated that a large portion of future business revenues would be derived from online transactions or from offline transactions that were the result of online marketing efforts.

So should your business have a website, even if your business is small and sells products or services you don't think can be sold online? My answer in 1998 is the same as my answer today: Yes, if you have a business, you should have a website. Period. No question. Without a doubt.

Also, don't be so quick to dismiss your product as one that can't be sold online. Nowadays, there's very little that can't be sold over the internet. More than 20 million shoppers are now online, purchasing everything from books to computers to cars to real estate to jet airplanes to natural gas to you name it. If you can imagine it, someone will figure out how to sell it online.

Let me clarify one point: I'm not saying you should put all your efforts into selling your wares over the internet, though if your product lends itself to easy online sales, you should certainly be considering it. The point to be made here is that you should at the very least have a presence on the web so that customers, potential employees, business partners and perhaps even investors can quickly and easily find out more about your business and the products or services you have to offer.

That said, it's not enough that you just have a website. You must have a professional-looking site if you want to be taken seriously. Since many consumers now search for information online prior to making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store, your site may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential buyer. If your site looks like it was designed by a barrel of colorblind monkeys, your chance at making a good first impression will be lost.

One of the great things about the internet is that it has leveled the playing field when it comes to competing with the big boys. As mentioned, you have one shot at making a good first impression. With a well-designed site, your little operation can project the image and professionalism of a much larger company. The inverse is also true. I've seen many big company websites that were so badly designed and hard to navigate that they completely lacked professionalism and credibility. Good for you, too bad for them.

You also mention that yours is a small operation, but when it comes to benefiting from a website, size does not matter. I don't care if you're a one-man show or a 10,000-employee corporate giant; if you don't have a website, you're losing business to other companies that do.

Here's the exception to the rule: It's actually better to have no website at all than to have one that makes your business look bad. Your site speaks volumes about your business. It either says, "Hey, look, we take our business so seriously that we have created this wonderful site for our customers!" or it screams, "Hey, look, I let my 10-year-old nephew design my site. Good luck finding anything!"

Your website is an important part of your business. Make sure you treat it as such.

How to Write a Brief

TimBerr Designs will need to know a bit about your company in order to get a feel for how they should design your web site.

  1. A couple of paragraphs about your company

  2. The products you sell or services you provide

  3. Are you an international company? If so, which countries?

  4. How long have you been established?

  5. Describe the company using five or ten words (e.g. young, vibrant, technology based etc)

The Old web site

If you have an existing web site firstly let the web design company know the URL! (the web address). Then answer the following questions:

  1. What is good about the web site?

  2. What is bad about the web site? (i.e. old colour schemes, out-dated design)

  3. How long ago was it built? and who built it?

  4. What levels of traffic is it currently receiving?

  5. How often do you get a genuine sales lead through the web site?

  6. Who is responsible for updating the site?

The New web site.

What do you need from the new web site.

  1. Outline the aims of the web site (to increase traffic, increase product awareness,

  2. generate more sales, offer e-commerce, advertise a new product or service)

  3. Who is the target audience?

  4. Is the new web site part of a re-brand or a new product launch?

  5. Is there other advertising taking place that the new web site should tie in with?

  6. What are the unique selling points for your company, your products or your services.

  7. List a few competitors web sites.

The Look and Feel of the New Web Site

The web site should be an extension of any offline media, advertising or branding that you
have. It is always helpful to be provided with a brochure, some marketing literature or the
annual report to help get a feel for the company.
It is worthwhile noting three or four web sites that you like.
Do you have access to any corporate images?
Another area that is always overlooked is copy writing. Have you got the copy text ready to
go into your web site?

Promotion

You are proposing spending money on a new web site, so you want customers to see it,
right? So now consider how you will promote it.

On-line Promotion

The on-line promotion of a web site is often overlooked when considering the web site
brief. The promotion of your web site on the internet, both in terms of getting it on the
search engines and also building links with other web sites are vitally important to the
continued success of the site.

You should consider:

  1. Building link partners

  2. Search engine optimisation and submission

  3. Search engine paid listings - Google Adwords (the sponsored links you see on the side of your search results)

  4. Email marketing - emails that are branded inline with the web site.

  5. Adsense advertising on high traffic volume web sites.

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