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29th February – ‘Social Media and Communities’

Today the subject was ‘Social Media & Communities’. Pricilla began with her presentation about ‘Communities and Forums’; this was followed by Aimee, who talked about ‘Facebook for Business’. James then presented further information about these subjects.

I found the presentations today very amusing and I learnt a lot of information from them.

Later we were taught about what you can achieve on Twitter and that it is very similar to Facebook. We were also told about the search widget for Twitter, which would show tweets for all different subjects.

Then we talked about YouTube and its benefits, such as that the videos come up at the top of Google searches. Because of this it can be a very good way to advertise your business. It is also ok to embed other people’s videos in your site (if they are available to do so), but one down-side to this is that it may not communicate your name as well.

It is becoming popular to include links to social media pages, so that people can sign up and then post things on there and share it with others. Addthis.com and sharethis.com are two good websites that can also help with this. They add the extras of being able to email or share parts of the site with other people.

Also having a link back to your site from Tumbler, Flicker, or more especially Facebook and Twitter can bring more people to your site.

22nd February – ‘Revenue Generation Models’

Today’s lesson subject was ‘Revenue Generation Models’. There were three people giving presentations. First was Gary who covered site advertising, and next was Imran who presented Subscription Websites. Finally Olan presented Freemium and James ran through some extra information afterwards.

I found all of the presentations very interesting and learnt a lot of information from them.

When advertising is included on a website it will be important that thought goes into the positioning of the ads. Then this will make sure that it is still attractive for the users. It is also important that you think through if your website is in a subject that is appropriate for advertising.

Advertising can be a very useful way of generating additional income from websites. However, it is important that the ads do not dominate the site and therefore drive away potential customers.

We were then informed about the different advertising pricing models. There are CPM, CPC, ECPM, CPA, Tenancy and CPS. I didn’t realise that there are so many types! CPM is costs per thousand (mille) impressions; CPC means cost per click, ECPM means effective cost per thousand (mille), CPA is cost per action. Also tenancy is a flat rate that is agreed and CPS means cost per sale.

We then talked about ‘Hard paywall’ ‘Soft paywall’ and ‘No paywall’ areas. ‘Hard paywall’ means sites which require paid subscription before content can be seen. I would say that we all agreed that most ‘Hard paywall’ sites e.g. The Times and Which Magazine are not going to last much longer. The reason why could be because there will be other competition out there, usually some for free.

‘Soft paywalls’ let customers view a specified number of articles and then demands paid subscription to read further. Where as ‘No paywalls’ are when the website will always be free for users to visit and read the information.

One of my favourite things of the day was the sponsorship on payperpost.com or jobthread.com. I will definitely look into using them for the future. Near the end, James mentioned that sometimes people may not like having to subscribe for a site (and it is not needed on his). I think that I would give people the choice –a free area and an extra  subscription to view more detail.

15th February – ‘Analytics & Competitor Research’ (My Presentation Day!)

Today the people showing their presentations were Kathleen and then me, followed by Jaana. The subjects we were covering were ‘Analytics and Content Management’. Kathleen covered Google Analytics and then both Janna and I covered Analytics and Content Management separately.

From Kathleen, Jaana and James’ presentations I learnt a lot of interesting information, which will be very helpful.

With Google Analytics it is necessary for you to sign up and notify them of your web address! You will then be presented with some JavaScript language. This needs to be added into the <head> in every page of your html.

I have learnt how Google Analytics’ Funnel can be very useful and makes sure that fewer customers leave your site without buying a product! The official Google Analytics video on YouTube has also been very helpful.

Google Analytics enables you to monitor the traffic that arrives at your websites.

It also lets you see lots of areas such as:

 

  • How many people visit your website
  • Where they are coming from
  • What they were looking at
  • How long they stayed on your site
  • As well as what the conversion rate is.

Fixing Problems

So far today I have been successful with fixing a jQuery image slider, a Google toolbar, putting together a comment/message box (almost to planned), uploading my recent work onto my website as well as quite a lot of blog work!

The first hiccup mentioned was with the jQuery image slider. This occurred by adding some new language onto my index page. I did this to see if it would solve an error.

Presentation Completed!

My presentation is next Wednesday (15th). I have almost finished preparing it and I am very pleased with it so far. The sections that I have included are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Analytics and Competitor Research Definition…
  3. ?
  4. Why it’s Important to Understand who Competitors are?
  5. SEO Marketing
  6. SEO Programs
  7. Competitor Research – Where to Start
  8. Competitive Intelligence Analysis
  9. Social Media Connection
  10. How would this help you with Managing your Website?
  11. Conclusion

 

Below are examples of what each slide will include: –

Analytics and Competitor Research Definition…

  • ?

  • Why it’s Important to Understand who Competitors are?

  • SEO Marketing

  • SEO Programs

  • Competitor Research – Where to Start

  • Competitive Intelligence Analysis

  • Social Media Connection

  • How would this Help you with Managing your Website?

  • End!

8th February – ‘ECommerce’

Yesterday in the lesson the main focus of the day was about ‘ECommerce’. First Jim showed his presentation and then Annalise. Jim’s was about ‘Conversion Rate’ and Annalise’s ‘ECommerce’. James then presented some more information about those subjects.

The presentations were very enjoyable, and I leant a lot from them.

Today we were recommended the best CMS programs with which to create ECommerce sites. We were shown demos of Magento and Prestashop. They both had great features. Ebay now owns Magento and is the world’s fastest growing ECommerce company. Magento has a lot of brilliant and impressive features. It uses a Multi store, which lets you have various different stores on different domains and Magento can host them all. There is an example site ready-made for customers, (which looks great), and if users are beginners they do not need to make huge changes. Prestashop also has a great feature – when products are purchased, they are shown flying up into the cart in the top corner. Some other helpful Ecommerce software available includes OsCommerce, Zencart, J-Shop and Shopify.

Another area covered by James during the lesson was affiliates: they can make sites feel friendlier and less threatening to sign up to. For example, showing help phone numbers will make customers feel more comfortable, as it shows that people are there to give them assistance if they need it.

Google Search!

YES! I managed to add a Google toolbar onto my website. At last! I have spent so long trying to attach a search engine bar onto my site. The one that I added at first would let you either search on Google or on my St Francis Persian Cats site.

The tutorial was from this website link: http://tutorialzine.com, but there were problems. When I entered the code into my index.html file, the results overlapped the contact area and the jQuery image slider stopped working!

I thought I would be able to sort the problem out, but … no. I tried for a long time and it would not resolve. Because of this I searched for another lesson and I found a great one. Here is the address, below:

http://www.askdavetaylor.com

When I tested the new Google toolbar on my site it worked and did not break the image slider.

Thanks Dave Taylor!

A couple of changes in the language were needed though, as the validator showed codes that were slightly wrong! I have now sorted it out so that it is perfect. 😀

1st February- ‘SEO and Web Marketing’

This week the topic was ‘SEO and Web Marketing’. I learned a lot from each presentation, in many different areas. They were all very enjoyable.

Esam – ‘Web Marketing Sponsored Links’

John – ‘On-site SEO – SEO and Web Marketing’

Laura – ‘Keyword Research & Web Copy Writing’

Also James covered additional information which had not been covered earlier.

I learned that it could be better to include words in your domain name, which people would use to search for your site. I can relate to this, as in the past I had found the website http://www.discountgolfstore.co.uk, when I entered similar words into Google search and the site happened to be perfect! 🙂

Today lots of other points were explained to us. For example with Adword, descriptive sentences would be better than buying popular words. There would not be as many opponents – so you would have more chance of being the chosen/picked site on browsers.

Another great idea is e.g. a £5 off voucher if customers sign up to the site, as you are then likely to get more subscribers to your site!

Adobe Reader made another popular feature happen, which is to get your name to appear on search engines when other text is entered. For example, on Google if you search ‘click here’ Adobe Reader is at the top! On some other search engines it appears in second place.

There are various ways of advertising your company on other websites and this can be very powerful. You can write articles for blogging sites, some of which will even pay you, for example ‘Smashing Magazine’(£40!), while other sites, such as ‘Ezine Articles’ will take your article but don’t pay you. Or you can pay to have an advert on other websites, and Facebook advertising would be a good example of this as the adverts’ subjects are chosen to relate to users, by their observed interests and favourite subjects.

 

Another area that we were told to watch out for is to use text rather than images to communicate important messages in emails. You should not use images because most email recipients do allow pictures to be shown, unless the sender is added to their address book!

James also highly recommends a book called ‘The Art of SEO’ to us. Sadly all the copies from the library had been borrowed. Instead I managed to take out a book, which Laura suggested that we read. This is called ‘Building Findable Websites: Web Standards, SEO, and Beyond’….. And luckily I managed to get ‘The Art of SEO’ from the library later on!

25th January – ‘Content Strategy’

Today is the second week of our Content Management Project and today’s presentation subject is ‘Content Strategy’.

The presentations today were

Richard’s – ‘User Generated Content’

Alison’s – ‘Writing for the Web’

Nicola’s – ‘Content Strategy’

and James presented information about the subjects which had not already been covered.

They were all very interesting and I was very pleased as I learned a lot from them. They were all very informative and well explained.
James mentioned that the more links a website has connecting to it, the more the SEO popularity will increase.

Search engines prefer websites that are updated regularly. Obviously, this needs to be done anyway, to keep the look of the site professional and the information relevant and current. It is also a good idea to include a blog on a site. This is a very popular thing to have now and a site without a blog may look poor against its competitors.

 

The BBC website is a good example of a well laid-out site, which uses narrower columns, breaking up the text with appropriate sub-headings when necessary.  They usually start with small opening paragraphs and don’t use jargon, all of which makes it easier to read. Wikipedia, on the other hand, can be difficult to read because of its full-page width, but it is still very successful.

Content Management Presentation

I have started to research and learn about ‘Analytics & Competitor Research’ for my Content Management presentation. There has been a lot of new information to take in, on the Internet and in books. I am beginning to test some of it out, for example I have now downloaded SEOQuake and have been experimenting with it before the presentation. I will continue downloading programs and investigating over the next few days, to see exactly how they can be used.