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Microsoft Dropping the Browser Brand of Internet Explorer in Order to Compete is Great News for Website Designers

By: Trang Nguyen | MPS Blogger

Internet Explorer is like the last kid to be picked in gym class when it comes to Internet browsers. For years now, it has taken a back seat to Safari, Firefox, and Chrome to just name a few. If you really think about it, when was the last time you used Internet Explorer by choice? So it was no surprise when Microsoft recently announced that it would be dropping the Internet Explorer brand and moving in a different direction for its next browser release.

Internet-Explorer-600x390There have been numerous rumors swirling that Microsoft would be eliminating Internet Explorer, but the official confirmation has created a lot of buzz. Specifically, from web designers and developers who are excited to see the browser go. Internet Explorer has been a headache inducing program and is stigmatized for being buggy, making coding a website immensely difficult. Broken pages and having to deal with the same issues occurring over and over again are only a few of the issues. It doesn’t seem like the public is very sad to see Internet Explorer kicked to the curb, Microsoft included. There has been so much negative feedback in the past that the company looks to move on.

Although Microsoft is choosing to drop the brand, the process won’t be happening immediately. Some version of Internet Explorer will still be programmed into the new Windows operating system, but the new browser, currently labeled Project Spartan will be the default way for users to gain access to the web. Eventually Internet Explorer will be phased out completely. This new browser, Project Spartan is said to be faster, sleeker and more user friendly, very similar to its competitive counterparts.

Here at Marketing Puget Sound, custom websites are a major aspect of our business. We are excited to see how Project Spartan will affect web development and design when it is released. What are your thoughts on Microsoft cutting the ties?

Source: Hello Giggles  & Site Point
Photo Credit: Beta News

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Although e-commerce is seen as an inexpensive way to launch a start-up business idea, it can be frustrating considering the ever-raging competition and the uncertainties. Something is always changing for the online marketing platform. An entrepreneur who wishes to generate substantial proceeds from an online business must adapt to these changes, otherwise they will find it hard to keep up with their competitors. Web visitors have been trained to buy the very best products. With this in mind, an e-commerce website should be free of errors. Make sure you edit, and re-edit your website so it’s free of grammar and spelling issues.

Textual content
Long tracts of text are not attractive to potential customers who have very little time to browse through a website. This is one of the common mistakes most e-commerce entrepreneurs overlook. Long tracts of text are not attractive to potential customers who have very little time to browse through a website. Check if they will find the products they are interested in and make a purchase if applicable. To avoid turning potential customers away from your e-commerce portal, your main pages should have no more than a few essential paragraphs of text. For SEO, your keyword optimized articles should be posted on blogs and directories. Review your content to make sure that it does not have grammar mistakes because mistakes are seen as incompetence by visitors who land on your website.

Navigational errors
How well a visitor can navigate your website will influence your conversion rate. If some of your links are broken, or redirect to the wrong page, some of your pages won’t receive any traffic. If web users see that your website has technical errors they will most likely navigate away. This is especially true if a visitor lands on an incorrect page. Even if you eventually correct the page, most of those users never come back.

Assurance on secure payment methods
One of the main concerns customers have while shopping for products online is the security of their financial information. No one wants to shop on a website which will expose their credit card information to hackers who might have malicious intentions. To avoid losing potential customers, ensure that you have a statement on your website assuring customers of safety.

Unimpressive graphics and web design elements
Another one of the mistakes that create inconvenience in e-commerce businesses is web design. If your website is not capable of attracting the interest of a potential customer at first sight, very few of them will want to shop from you. Consider running an analysis on the structure of your web pages and make corrections where necessary.

Do you have sufficient content about your products?
Before a customer buys something from you, they first want to be assured that it is going to solve a problem they have. This assurance can only be given by the content on your site. To get the best content, ensure that the information you provide about services or goods covers everything a customer would want to know.

Is your website designed for your target audience?
People have different preferences and needs. To maximize your profit margins, consider redesigning your website so that it relates with your target audience. If you are selling professional items, your website should bear a professional design – otherwise it should be informal. For instance, it would be inappropriate to use slang language on a website whose audience is corporate managers. At the same time, using slang language would be favorable for an online store that targets the younger generation.

Check your website’s load time
Statistics show that most web visitors navigate away if a website take more than 10 seconds to load. A user browsing on a website which takes too long to load assumes that there is a problem with it and will instinctively look for another option. To avoid losing customers to your competitors, review your websites design and correct aspects that might make it to load slowly. You could even hire a professional web developer to diagnose and correct the problem.

Your choice of web hosting service
Do you use a shared hosting, VPS or cloud-hosting plan? Most entrepreneurs assume that they don’t need a high performance web hosting service since their website is small and they only expect a small number of visitors. However, a start-up idea grows to a big business opportunity and you might encounter a situation where the traffic flowing to your website overwhelms your resources. To be safe, always select a high performance hosting service like the cloud or VPS.

Getting the most out of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) means being able to make careful hypotheses over how a site can be improved, and how conversions can be increased. Any site and landing page can be adjusted to make it more appealing with CRO to find the best possible options for user satisfaction, and an aim of maximizing sales. To achieve this goal, CRO testing (which can involve different users receiving different versions of the same site) can be deployed in a number of ways to see which one works best. Using these techniques, some of the top CRO tips for 2013 include:

Use Clear A/B Testing
Always focus on having a clear set of factors in mind when you run CRO tests on a landing page or on different pages within a large site. Make sure that you’re looking at key areas like graphic sizes, copy, or the arrangement of different forms within a page. Simple but effective changes can be used to see whether different versions of a page create higher conversion rates. Sites like Amazon rely on testing A and B versions of the same pages on an almost continual basis, which allows them to make small but important changes to their site as a whole. Knowing your way around Google Analytics (not just random testing without a clear goal in mind) is essential to this process.

Focus on Key Demographics
It’s important to be able to combine CRO testing with SEO analyses, with the aim of better understanding what kind of demographics are arriving on a site. Again, make use of Google Analytics, and look at customer feedback and satisfaction surveys to see what users are looking for; this information can be used to tailor CRO tests to include new promotions and copy.

Tailor Your Copy
A major part of improving your site conversions is to tailor and optimize the copy that appears on different pages – this means having copy that is concise and able to grab users’ attention, but is also relevant to the kind of conversions that a site needs. Don’t just rely on regurgitating the same copy, but find ways of diversifying what’s on a page through testimonials, statistics, and links to guest posts.

Test Sites Yourself
In many cases, the best judge of how a site is performing will be yourself; try to see a landing page through the eyes of a user, and consider what your basic response to it is. Are there parts of a site that immediately draw your attention, or do you have to spend a lot of time trawling through different pages? Try getting friends and family to take a look at a site before quizzing them on how likely they would be to make a purchase. Focus on the details. Remember, having a strong set of reasons for testing different variations on a site will give you an overview of what you need to change. However, you can also focus on specific details of a site that can be tweaked across different versions. Some good areas to focus on include buttons and background images, as well as seeing if new videos or social media feeds produce different responses.

There are cases when A/B CRO tests will produce skewed results from random traffic, and will not give an accurate representation of whether one version of a site is more effective. You can vary your sample size and limit the amount of mistakes which might include identical sites receiving different scores. You can use A/A/B/B testing to see whether there are any repeated discrepancies between the same versions of sites.

Test Forms
Often neglected when it comes to running CRO tests, web forms on a site can be an important indicator as to whether users are making purchases and clicking through to store and access information. Experiment with changes to forms, whether through color schemes and their relationships to the rest of a site, or through swapping out copies to see which is more accessible to users. If you feel that you website is not converting how it should be, then contact Marketing Puget Sound to resolve your issues and help increase you CRO.

Internet marketing is not just all about conquering the search engine world. Internet marketing is all about taking advantage of the online portal to sell your brands to people, no matter where they are. It’s all about reaching out to your customers and building relationships with them. If you really want people to try out your products or services, then give them a reason why they should. Internet marketing works in two ways; it either helps you find customers, or helps your customers find you. This is why coming up with a strong message and always staying active with your campaigns are two important things that will drive more traffic (and potential clients) to your website. So, how do you successfully market your business?

Stay Relevant All The Time
According to Matt Briton of Mr. Youth, a social media agency, any business must address five “need states” to become truly relevant in the eyes of their clients. These “need states” include utility, entertainment, information, rewards, and recognition. If you don’t have a relevant internet marketing campaign, then you’re out of the race! If people don’t see any relevance with what you’re offering, then they’ll simply pass over your website without ever hesitating of trying out what you’re offering. In short, your online marketing campaign should make people feel that you have something exciting and worthwhile for them. This will give them the idea that your business is relevant, and that they should try out your product or service. If you want to stay on top, it’s very important to keep your consumers desires, hopes and aspirations at the heart of your online marketing endeavors. MPS Tacoma online marketing firm guides and educates personal and business websites on why it’s important to stay relevant to their specific topic.

Shoppers these days have become price-conscious; that means they’re more likely to ask themselves, “Is this giving me a value-for-money purchase?” Is there value with what you’re offering? If yes, then you’re giving them the reason why they should choose you.

Context and Content are the King and Queen
To truly succeed in the cutthroat world of online marketing, you have to know that creating value for your product or service is only possible if you can connect your creativity with technology. While a lot of people are obsessed with all of the latest technologies and gizmos that revolutionized the way we see advertising today, don’t forget that the content of your ads or your websites matter the most. So, no matter how revolutionary your ideas are, no matter how out-of-this-world your product offerings may be, if you don’t have  powerful content to engage your audience your marketing campaign will remain short-term. Our Tacoma online marketing firm guides all online users on how to create and market high-quality content to increase online awareness.

Be Honest All the Time
Even though some of your clients can’t see you, honesty is essential.  Being honest is how you earn your clients trust, and once you’ve built an image of trustworthiness, you’ll stick to everyone’s mind as a loyal worker. Always be clear in stating your purpose about what your business really aims for. For example, you can say, “This website is dedicated to helping our loyal clients establish excellent choices about issues/products XYZ”.  While it’s great to increase sales, you have to also emphasize that it’s more important to focus your activities on offering excellent customer experience first, and not make it look like you’re only trying to sell them something.

Making an e-commerce site is getting more popular as time goes on. Webmasters can get started with an e-commerce website quickly, but making a business model that works can be a different story. Fortunately, traffic can be obtained through the use of free and paid techniques and services. Here’s a look at the top four ways to start increasing traffic without spending too much money.

1. Make ads on social media sites
Ads placed on Google and Facebook make it easy to reach a site’s target audience. For example, a site that aims to sell beauty products to young women can request that Facebook display its ads to women in that age group who live in areas that are specified. Other criteria, such as entertainment preferences, can also be used to determine who sees the ads.

2. Take advantage of affiliates
Thousands of people are happy to direct traffic to e-commerce websites in exchange for a cut of its profits. To make it easier to find affiliates, many sites manage the operation for clients. Everything from fraud prevention to tracking and payments are handled by these companies, leaving webmasters free to work on other business details.

3. Reach consumers directly with social networking sites
Most companies now have profiles on Twitter and Facebook, but these sites must be used wisely to get the most from them. An e-commerce site can have excellent interactivity and visual appeal, but the quality of engagement will determine whether users visit and buy things. To this end, webmasters should try to foster connections with users through valuable information, as well as links.

4. Work with other e-commerce site webmasters
These days, competition for links can be fierce. However, this doesn’t mean that webmasters with similar interests can’t help each other out in this area. Link trading is an excellent way to increase visits from consumers. One great way to institute this is to trade guest blog posts, which also enhance sites by increasing the diversity of information offered there.

With so many options for building traffic and sales at e-commerce sites, webmasters have to make a plan to keep productivity up from the start. Traffic goals for specific dates help structure plans for using techniques like those listed above. In addition, a plan will help maintain consistency – a crucial part of long-term success in e-commerce. By taking the right steps and following through, e-commerce webmasters can go a long way in today’s market.

Today, digital marketing is an essential part of running a business. When running a company it is important to have a steady customer base and know that there is a consumer base awareness. Many people (business owners included) are under the impression that effective digital marketing is a costly affair. No matter what your business is, digital marketing can help drive your sales.
Contrary to popular belief, there are many free techniques that can be utilized for digital marketing – you just need to know how. Below, we will outline a list of tools that are at your disposal and that have a successful, proven track record for helping online marketers. But don’t get too excited yet; before you begin thinking about implementing any of these techniques you must have a clear understanding of whom you are targeting and what the main message of your campaign is. Here are some tips to help your business on its digital marketing journey without breaking the bank.

Have a Plan
Like any successful project, goals need to be set. Decide what you want to achieve from this marketing campaign, what and why are you promoting, and if you want to develop brand awareness. When you have decided what you want from the campaign it will be easier to implement relevant strategies.

Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is the technique of structuring your presence online and defining where your website will rank in different search engines for different keywords. When starting off, ensure you know what people are searching for in relation to your product or service and how they are searching for it. You can find out this information through Google Analytics and Google Ad words – both of these tools are free and there are plenty of resources online that can help you understand how to use them. When you are aware and informed of the SEO techniques that you can implement you will successfully be able to start providing content related to what customers are searching for by including relevant key words.

Fresh Content
It is important to make visitors want to return to your website. In many cases a customer will visit your site once and never return because they have attained whatever information they were looking for. In order to engage visitors and encourage them to return to the site it is essential that you update your site with fresh, interesting and relevant content. This will increase traffic to your website and in turn, drive sales.

Fresh content will keep your site ranking in various search engines. A good way to update content on your site is by blogging. A blog will allow you to express your voice and opinion on relevant topics or issues in your industry. By incorporating keywords it is a practical way of improving your search engine optimization as well as gaining a regular user base for your website.

Social Media
Social media is now more than ever an essential part of running any business. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and Google + can all be used to connect with customers as well as to broaden your audience. Companies can effectively use social media to build and maintain relationships with their customer base. Many businesses now use Facebook and Twitter as the main point of contact with customers to help with any queries, problems, or suggestions. Social media can also be used as a point of self-promotion to spread the business name to the wider social media community.

As you start implementing digital marketing practices to your business it is key to monitor results. You can manage and keep track of results using tools such as Google Analytics, and Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to monitor social media work. If you monitor the results of your work it will be easier to see what is working well and what isn’t. Knowing this information will assist you in further development to utilize the most effective marketing techniques for your business.

If you are serious about improving your business’ digital marketing to spread awareness about your company and in turn drive sales, the above techniques will give you the power to do so.