Posts Tagged ‘website’

postheadericon Is Google About to Top the Browser Charts

As many of us are aware, internet browsing became popular through the use of a trusted and well known piece of software called Internet Explorer.  For many years, IE dominated the internet browsing world, with only a little bit of competition from Netscape on Windows and Safari on Mac, but that time came to an end.  According to statistics from, internet explorer has been on a steady decline in market share since March of 2003, where it peaked at 80% of the market share.  9 years later their market share has dwindled down to only 19.5%.

In January of 2009, Mozilla Firefox overtook Internet Explorer as the most popular browser.  However, by July of that year, it too started to decline in market share as a new competitor, Google Chrome, began its accent to the top.  By April of 2010, Google surpassed IE, taking over the number 2 spot behind Firefox, and has been continuously gaining ground since.

As of last month, Google has edged itself to within .3% of Firefox with 36.3% vs. Firefox’s 36.6%.  IE is down to 19.5%, like mentioned above, with Safari and Opera rounding out the remainder with 4.5% and 2.3% respectively.  If the trend continues, by next month, we may be hailing Google Chrome as the champion in this browser competition, at least for the time being.  As Internet Explorer and Firefox have demonstrated, nothing lasts forever.

How does this affect web developers and the population in general?

As many website designers and developers would attest to, Internet Explorer has been a thorn in our side for the last few years.  As Firefox and Chrome, along with Safari and Opera, embraced the most advanced technologies available, IE has been steadily falling behind, causing developers to need to almost develop an entire side twice.  Once for Internet Explorer and once for the rest of the world.  In addition, there are so many features that are lacking in older versions of Internet Explorer, that anyone running IE8 would never be able to see the websites they visit living up the glory that they have.

The good news is that IE9 at least brought potential fixes to some of these features, even if developers need to use different coding in some cases to achieve the same results.

The bad news is that IE9 won’t work on machines running Windows XP, which according to the same source above, is still used by over 31% of internet users.

More good news: Microsoft recently announced that IE10 will be debuting shortly, and is currently in developer testing stages.  You can download a version of it if you want, but we wouldn’t recommend it unless you are an experienced web developer.

More bad news: Microsoft has decided that IE10 will not be available on anything before Windows 7, which to be fair has garnered about 47% of the market at this point.  Still, this leaves anyone running Windows XP with only one way of viewing the latest technologies: drop Internet Explorer and go for one of the top dogs, either Firefox or Chrome.

Personally, as a Chrome user,  I am all for it taking the #1 spot.  Nothing against Firefox, mind you.  It is a good and stable browser, but with Google behind it, I see lots of potential for Chrome, including functionality between it, Google’s Android mobile phone operating system, and Google Chrome OS, Google’s attempt at taking cloud computing to a ridiculously new level.

If you are a Chrome user too, great!

If you are a Firefox user, your days as #1 may be up, but I wish you the best of luck.

If you are a Safari or Opera user, I don’t understand why you chose what you did, but I can appreciate your choice.

If you are using IE9, it could be worse, I suppose.

If you are still using IE8 or earlier, you may want to consider upgrading if possible or better yet switching to a different browser.  Just try it out.  It doesn’t take long to adjust and you can be sure you are seeing the website in the way website developers want you to.

postheadericon SEO – Where to start?

Search engine optimization is like pushing a heavy ball down a specific path.  Once you “get the ball rolling” so to speak, the momentum will help continue to push it forward.  However, when you are just starting out, it can be difficult to find your bearings.  The energy it takes to just get going past the point of inertia can seem daunting, so we’d like to take this time to give suggestions that anyone can do.

SEO can be an expanding spiral of growth if treated in the correct way.  The more people that visit your site, the better it will do in search engine rankings.  The better your site does in rankings, the more people will visit your site.  SEO strategies like keywords and video are all very important, but the main driving point in the beginning is just to get people to visit, and in this way it is fairly identical to marketing in the real world.

Friends Matter:

Sometimes it is who you know that counts.  Talk to your friends and recommend they go to your website.  Have them tell their friends about it.  Even if it only gets a few people to start visiting, it will create a trend.  While you are at it, talk to them about forming an online partnership.  We at ActiveNation have prided ourselves on linking to all of our clients websites, including Party Perfect, Diploma Company and Ross Locklear on our website, while they all have a link back to us on their website as their website developer/designer.  A link exchange, in which you put a link to your friend’s or client’s website on your own in return for them putting a link to your site on theirs, is a good way of increasing traffic to your site and is a free advertising tool.  The inbound link created on your friend’s site will also help to boost your website’s rankings.

Paper Pushers:

Once you have a website, put it everywhere.  On your advertisements, on your business cards, on the walls of your office for when people visit.  People are growing more an more used to using the internet for research on whatever company they are going to and one of the first websites they visit is the company’s own.  You can even use it to make your advertisement’s cheaper by ending with the words “Visit our website for more information.”  This means your advertisements are shorter and you are driving more people to your site, increasing your marketing reach and search rankings simultaneously.

Social Media Speaks Loudly:

These days, a large majority of the population has some social media account, be it twitter, facebook, or linkedin.  These allow you to post something for the whole world to see.  While creating your own page for your business can be helpful, it can also be detrimental if it is not constantly updated.  However, posting something on your personal account, such as a link to your website with a blurb like “Check out our new website” can be effective in driving online “friends” and visitors to your website.

postheadericon Get Your Website Buzzin’

Businesses are constantly trying to figure out the best ways to generate traffic to their website. With so many different outlets and resources offered out there, there’s no doubt you can attract visitors to your site, but which factors are consistent and the most effective? Social Media is a great resource when it comes to targeting different demographics that fit your ideal consumer profile. You can narrow anyone down based on age, sex, gender, location of residence, etc. so that you know who will benefit from your services more as opposed to others who wouldn’t care. This is also a great outlet to share information about your company, advertise and promote your site, and even offer incentives, specials, etc. to your fans.  Social media is the latest craze right now and it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon, so jump on the bandwagon and give it a try! Don’t be afraid to engage with your friends/fans either. Consumers and potential patrons want to know that you care and want to know that they have voice within your brand. A creative website name and creative content will surely earn you high marks when it comes to your visitor and gaining their interest. You want to be able to capture consumer attention from the beginning and convince them that your brand is like no other; in fact it’s better than the others. I like to call it “sweet talk”, tell your consumers not only what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. Be honest but also a little entertainment can go a long way too. You also want to make sure you stick in their memory so the next time they want to go back to your site; they can remember your name. If you’re not sure exactly how to draw people to your site, or which sources would be beneficial for your niche business the best thing you can do is hire an expert. As skilled professionals, they can offer you more insight to who you should target and how to generate traffic to your site based on your key demographic. Not only that, but experts like Active Nation can manage your social media pages for you, update your blogs and analyze your website statistics to predict and monitor visitor behavioral trends. This will help you to know what works for your company and what doesn’t. Frankly, I would advise you to at least consult with an internet marketing expert either way so that you can weigh all of your options and know the best approach for your company to garner web traffic. You want to not only just attract new users to your site, but you also want to keep them coming back. Research all of the possible resources out there and make it work!

postheadericon Teens and Their Parents Determine Buying Trends

Targeting your audience can be challenging depending on your ideal consumer profile, but when it comes to determining teens and tween customers and their buying habits, naturally it’s not as complex as you would think. Teen buyers usually are pretty solid when it comes to knowing what products they want. Considering teens and tweens are pretty tech savvy, the internet naturally would be a great resource for them to make their purchases. But what exactly influences a teen to purchase a product or persuade their parents to make the purchase for them?

Usually teenagers are pretty set on what they want so they may not need to research so much into their favorite product since they’re pretty keen on the newest and hottest trends, especially with electronics. But what resources influence teens to attain information about their favorite products and to make their purchases? According to an eMarketer report, “two in five teens said online reviews influenced their computer product preferences, and 37% cited product websites”. So it seems as though teens pay attention to their web sources like online customer reviews, product websites, and online ads. In fact according to the “TeenFluence Survey” conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of, ads were the second most common element that helped users to make their decision about a product or service.

A study by Mintel also found that the influence of online content becomes more important as kids enter their teenage years, you can also call this demographic the “tween” generation. “At the upper end of the age range, kids 9-11 are more likely to turn to more diverse resources for information, including online ads and social networking sites, while the younger kids, aged 6-8, have a stronger reliance on parents”. Not to mention word of mouth is definitely popular among this age group as kids like to “show and tell” their favorite products they possess or want to purchase. Teens usually know more about popular products and electronics than their parents do so usually the teen would influence the parent to make the purchase and the parent then researches the item through the web through customer reviews, website content, word of mouth and online advertisements also. And since tweens and teens may not have the income to make their purchases, it’s ultimately up to the parents to make the purchase.

It’s safe to say that the internet plays a major role when it comes to purchasing products, not just with adult users but more so with the newest generation of tech savvy teens and tweens. Would you agree with the report and their results?

postheadericon Web Design vs. Web Development: What’s So Different?

Most commonly people believe that web design and web development are just two different terms for the same thing. Well, not exactly. It’s understandable why you would think this way considering they both go hand in hand, have many similarities, and you can’t really have one without the other. But they aren’t the exact same thing.

Web design focuses on the visual aspect of the website, the appearance. After all the key word in Web Design is…design. It’s basically a given but at the same time there is a little bit more that can go into design that also compliments Web Development. While web design can also involve basic coding like html and css web designers also utilize graphics, basic art and other design tools to produce a creative website. The design of the website also involves the smoothness of its navigation, the chicness in the appearance and the balancing of the two.

Wed Development is an elaboration of web design. Again the two go hand in hand, so while the design aspect is focused on the display of the site, development is what allows the design to be generated through codes, programming and other various elements. The web development process is what keeps the site running adequately.

In a nutshell you see the main differences between the two, and while they are pretty similar, they still each have their own identities and play different roles in the process of developing a website.

This picture is a great [and hilarious] approach to distinguishing the differences between a web designer and a web developer. Enjoy! [Image via]

postheadericon How’s Your Image?

Let’s face it, you’re probably not the only company out there selling the same product or service and it can get pretty confusing for consumers to know which brand to run with, which is why it’s important to make the decision for them by maintaining a positive social image. Naturally when consumers are searching for a product, they want to go to the best company for the best in quality. Consumers look at which brand is the best based on a number of things but above all they will want to go to a familiar name that they feel they can trust. So the question is: Does your brand have a positive online reputation?

You may want to know why it is so important to have a positive online presence in the first place or even an online presence at all. Well, the internet is where it’s at right now, for everything. More and more businesses are jumping on the internet marketing bandwagon which creates heavier competition. You want to make sure your company is what’s in and up to date on the newest marketing technologies for your benefit. When you stamp your brand in the online marketing world you can expect higher performance, generate an increase in sales leads and even establish higher rankings within the search engines. You want to be accessible to your target consumers in any way possible so that they don’t miss out. Realistically, while traditional marketing is still effective, internet marketing has taken the lead role considering its cost friendly, convenient for both companies and consumers to interact and it’s not as time consuming when it comes to reaching a mass group. All you have to do is click a button and you can send out emails, share corporate updates for your customers, and send out special offers without the hassle of printing and delivering.

The foundation or the premise of attaining a positive online social image would be having a quality website. You should look at your corporate website as a formal introduction where your visitors can learn as much as possible about what your company offers and you want to make sure they visit again, refer you, and/or transition from a visitor to a sales lead.  Content management, performance, and appearance are important factors when a user visits a site. You should make sure your site’s appearance is clean and not cluttered with too many graphics which can cause slow loading time. Watch your content to ensure there aren’t any grammatical errors. Make sure your site’s content is creative and informative at the same time. We know reading can be boring for some so it’s definitely a plus to engage your audience with content that they can relate to and that is entertaining.

The same concept goes with social media content. Is your company socially responsible? Social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Blogs, and others alike are great outlets to provide entertaining and effective information to mass groups and target audiences. Joining sites like this alone already gain you cool points considering social networking sites are all the rave and has formally introduced us to this new generation of marketing. vlogsPlatforms like these allow a company to be as accessible as necessary to inquiring patrons and provide a home for loyal customers to visit whenever they need your services again. Content management again is significant so it’s wise to provide creativity and influence with your words. Even with video blogs, or vlogs, it’s important to have an outgoing personality and the proper knowledge to get the message across to viewers. When you incorporate social media platforms onto your website like vlogs, Facebook and Twitter plugins as well as links to your company blog, visitors will feel like a kid in a candy store almost.

By participating in forums and discussions with your consumers this will leave a positive influence. When people know that they can interact with staff members, support, or even company heads they will put more trust into your brand considering they feel like they have a voice with your business and it’s valued. I mean after all when you’re a consumer you want to feel like you’re in the best hands with whatever company you choose, right? What better way to feel secure than knowing that you can always ask a question and get a response from a representative or post a review on a company’s site.

All in all you want consumers to come to your company before going to your competition for their needs and you want to build a trusting relationship with them so that they will come back again and share their positive experience with others. By maintaining a positive online presence you can expect a boost in your brand’s overall reputation while acquiring an increase in sales and business performance. Considering all of the benefits of online marketing, how can you not take advantage of the resources? You are in control of what you share so make sure it’s worthwhile, efficacious, and entertaining. Otherwise why do it if you won’t do it right? Another plus is that you can always hire an internet marketing company to handle it for you to make sure what you share virally will only guarantee a positive image.  So I guess the real question at this point is: Why not?