Internet technology and marketing

January 20, 2011

2011 color

Filed under: websites — Tags: — webcubic @ 11:55 pm

Honeysuckle, bold and reddish-pink, was chosen by Pantone as the 2011 Color of the Year.  It is described as a captivating and stimulating color.

It is already being used in the fashion world and we can expect that it will show up in weddings and Spring and Summer fashions.  It will soon appear in graphic designs and even websites.

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.

September 17, 2010

Google Font API

Filed under: google, websites — Tags: , , — webcubic @ 11:10 pm

Google has been working with a number of talented font designers to produce a varied collection of high quality open source fonts for the Google Font Directory. With the Google Font API, using these fonts on your web page is almost as easy as using the standard set of so-called “web-safe” fonts that come installed on most computers.

The Google Font API provides a simple, cross-browser method for using any font in the Google Font Directory on your web page. The fonts have all the advantages of normal text: in addition to being richer visually, text styled in web fonts is still searchable, scales crisply when zoomed, and is accessible to users using screen readers.

Read more at: http://googlecode.blogspot.com/2010/05/introducing-google-font-api-google-font.html

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 19, 2010

Facebook grows

Facebook, Inc reported revenue of over $700 million for 2009.  Projections were to have $500 million in revenue.  Facebook’s growth – including over 500 million users – have contributed to the troubles that MySpace is experiencing.

Why is Facebook growing? 

As the largest social media site, it offers a great opportunity for advertisers to display their wares.  As companies realize the potential benefits of Facebook and other social media sites, they will invest.  In addition many companies have created their own business fan pages.  Starbucks has almost 8 million fans.  Chili’s (the restaurant chain) has almost 400,000.  American Eagle Outfitters has 1.2 million.

It is very appealing to be seen by up to 500 million users.  That’s the power of Facebook.  Once they can see traditional online advertising, they can link directly to the companies’ websites. 

Part of our entire Internet promotion campaign involves using social media sites.  We never consider MySpace, but we always invite our customers to consider Facebook.  There are other sites that offer significant value – Twitter and YouTube just to name a couple.

Visitors to website who come from Facebook are further along in the sales cycle than those that visit a website from a Google search. 

You should speak with a knowledge source like WebCubic.  They can help companies formulate a sound approach for a success Internet promotion campaign.

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.

March 16, 2010

Stock photos

Filed under: internet technology, websites — Tags: , , — webcubic @ 10:53 pm

We have been using www.iStockphoto.com for our stock photo needs for the past few years.  We started using them when we could get one photo (a good size for websites) for $1.  Prices have gone up and it now takes 3 “credits” for a suitably sized photo — each credit is now more than $1.

A nice benefit from signing up with iStockphoto and being a user is that they publish a weekly email that includes an opportunity for a free “photo of the week”.

There are competing services, but we’ve found these photos to be of high quality and yet very affordable.

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