Internet technology and marketing

July 25, 2011

Flash

Flash is software that enable you to produce animated visuals for a website.  However Flash does not work as well on mobile devices. 

Flash takes a longer amount of time to load.

Flash sites do not do well with search engine optimization.  It is difficult to “read” a Flash page.

Should you do flash?  What do you think?

January 15, 2011

2011 trends in website design

Filed under: website content, websites — Tags: — webcubic @ 11:01 pm

A new year is upon us – 2011.  It is time to mention some website design trends for 2011. 

Technology.  We expect some impact on websites because of technology improvements.  For example there will be less flash animation used and replaced by JavaScript (which is more compact) and HTML5.  There will be continued implementations of Flash but there are alternatives.   In fact, we spoke with one of our flash developers for a particular project and he suggested that we employ JavaScript to complete the animation.

 There will be additional implementations of CSS3.

Design.  There will be further use of one-page websites.  This is a convenient format for many websites.  The general column format will diminish and replaced by editorial (magazine) like design.  This may be more compatible with one-page sites, too.

Google introduced enhancements with fonts that will allow a greater variety of fonts to be used.  That means that more font styles will be used.

Larger sized headers were employed in 2010 and we expect that to be more commonly used this year.  Relatedly, footers will include more content, including more links.

A significant trend in recent years has been the use of portrait format sites.  However with fewer portrait format sites being deployed, plus the greater use of one-page websites, we may start to see a growth in landscape and wider websites.

We’ve also noticed larger graphics as background images – of course it would be something compatible with the content.  Relatedly we should see simpler color schemes used – and fewer colors, too.

Summary.  These are just sketches of the 2011 trends for websites.  We will provide more detail soon.

July 9, 2010

Internet marketing for REALTORS

This is the first of two articles directed toward REALTORS.  Here are some general thoughts about Internet marketing of your website.

FOCUS.  You need a focused niche in real estate and then direct your market message to support that niche. Buyers and sellers are not interested in a REALTOR that they perceive as a generalist.  They want to work with people experienced in the niche that they fit. Consumers may not understand what niche they’re in, but they want their REALTOR to be there.

For example, a REALTOR can work with first time buyers or seniors.  A REALTOR can focus on specific cities, tracts, or neighborhoods.

STRATEGY.  Three primary elements an overall Web strategy includes:

-A branded IDX solution that includes mechanisms to to capture leads. Many of the IDX applications offered by MLSs are sophisticated solutions that include means for lead capture.
-A means to follow-up with leads to get engaged in their home search process. This can range from run-of-the-mill DRIP campaigns to packaging information for consumers drawn from multiple sources. 
-A connection between your offline marketing to your Internet marketing so there is synergy between the two.

ADD CONTENT. Google and other search engines like new content.  An easy way to do this is to add new pages with the new content.  Create some form of a blog in your site which increases the content on your site.

These factors will help increase the website’s visibility and appeal to search engines.  They will also help grab attention and increase the likelihood of consumers returning to your website.

More to follow. Stay tuned.

June 8, 2010

Be careful of fraud

Filed under: website content, websites — Tags: , , — webcubic @ 7:17 am

There is a new term “cybersquatting” that applies to a scam.  The scam is when someone  uses the domain name of a familiar company and launches a copycat site to deceive online shoppers.  Not exactly the same domain name but one that is very similar.

Common characteristics of such sites

  • You should carefully inspect the domain name.  Assume that even a very slight change from the company’s name and normal website indicates an attempted scam. That includes extra words, such as TiffanyonSale or SterlingTiffany and anything but the usual .com or .org ending.
  • Customer service telephone numbers are normally bogus and others connect to fax machines so you can’t reach anyone.  Avoid any website that has no posted phone number.
  • Check out the domain name to make sure the right company owns it.  You can do a “whois”. Take a look at the suffix.  If the name sounds right but it uses the suffix of a foreign country it may be a scam.

Be careful that you don’t become a victim of a scam.  Not every bargain is a bargain.

June 2, 2010

Mayday

Google altered its search engine algorithm recently – this one is called the mayday update.  Here’s a link to a post about this update.

http://www.ecombuffet.com/SEO-Blog/seo-topics/mayday-google-algorithm-update/

This may have resulted in changes to your website’s search engine results.  However here is an excerpt from the above link.

Consistent site updates, high quality relevant content and good on-page optimization and clean code, as well as earning links because your site is a good site (and not because you play a link exchange game or belong to a link network) are the way to get top rankings.

More on Mayday later in June.

February 6, 2010

Update on “speed” as a Google ranking factor

Last year it was mentioned that website loading speed could be a factor for evaluating a website for Google search results.

Matt Cutts recently commented on what was important to Google.  He said that the relevancy of a website was still the most important factor.  “Relevance is the primary component, and we have over 200 signals in our scoring”.

January 7, 2010

Using IDX

Filed under: real estate, website content — Tags: , — webcubic @ 3:45 pm

IDX is one of the services that most MLSs provide for their members so that member websites can display property information.  It is a “no brainer” that this function should be used by every realtor for their website.

Depending upon the MLS, IDX may provide some good lead capture mechanisms. We suggest the following:

– there should be a way to capture the visitor’s basic contact information.  The issue is when to do it.  If you do it at the beginning of a property search session, then the visitor will likely exit the website.  Some IDX applications provide options to do this either before they view a specific listing or after viewing listing details.

– while viewing a detail listing, invite the visitor to “schedule an appointment”, “receive an email showing the listing detail”, or “save the result” so they look at it later.  These calls to action will generate qualified leads.

– some IDX applications provide the capability to set up searches for specific cities, zip codes, communities, farm area, or neighborhoods. If your IDX application provides this capability, then you should set it up so for the popular searches for your visitors.

IDX is a required application or component for every real estate website.  But don’t stop there.  Take advantage of it so that it becomes a lead generation tool.

For a better understanding of how to implement IDX with a website that supports IDX, please contact WebCubic at www.webcubic.biz.

October 16, 2009

Rights

Filed under: legal, website content — Tags: — webcubic @ 9:46 am

Someone mentioned a website (www.chillingeffects.org) that reports on legal issues of Internet activity.  We haven’t spent much time at this site yet, but wanted to mention it.

October 13, 2009

Content sources

Filed under: real estate, website content — Tags: , — webcubic @ 5:53 am

It is important for websites to have meaningful content.  This not only adds value for the visitor when he/she visits the website, but it also provides you, the website owner, to engage the visitor. 

One of the ways to add such content is to incorporate content based on good third party products.  For real estate professionals and their real estate websites, one recently available products comes from ZingDing (visit their website at www.zingding.com).

ZingDing uses photos, music, and special effects to assemble pleasing photo presentations.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.