Monday, 24 June 2013

Mobilizing Your Website

Why is it important for business owners to consider the unique needs of mobile users? Because you need to consider where your audience is coming from. The way we view content today, be it email, social, search engines or podcasts - we mainly use our mobile phones. 

What you need to consider is that handheld devices have smaller screens and on some devices the sheer amount of data can fill up their memories and simply cause the websites not to load, and in this you lose customers. 

All you need is a simplified website designed to target mobile phones. Having an option to return to the full site can keep Tablet users happy too, and your clients will be far more likely to return. Users like websites that are optimized and quick to load. 


  • There are twice as many web-ready devices today as there are PCs.
  • By 2014, mobile internet is estimated to overcome PC internet use.
  • 1.7 billion people will use mobile internet in 2013.
  • In 2012 there were 115.8 million 3G smartphone users in the US alone. 47% of the population.
  • More Android devices are being activated a day than babies born in the world.

According to stats, these numbers will only rise within the years to come - so if you don't have a mobile website yet, it's time to get with the program.  Contact us now for a quote!

2013-ITWWW-Odette Nieuwoudt

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

2013 SEO Success Factors

With just a little over half of the year left, SEO Specialists need to step up instead of slacking off. SEO has had enough time to become widely known, and it's now a race for that top ranking spot, getting there isn't easy - but your efforts will pay off! Here's a few tips on how to stay ahead:

  • Google is more interested in user behaviour than ever. Decent user experience data can be a crucial ranking factor of the future.
  • Make sure the all your basic SEO elements are in place:

  1. Minimized loading time on all pages
  2. Easy-to-use navigation
  3. User-friendly URLs and logical page arrangements
  4. Flexible page resolutions - from 800x600 to 1280x1024 and beyond
  5. Easy to read pages with the most prominent content above the fold
  6. Footer - Navigation links - Quick contact data.
  7. Have a consistency to the entire website

  • There's more quality content on the Internet than ever, now people are so accustomed to quick social networking browsing, they DO NOT read, but scan-scan-scan and faster and faster!
  • In short – create nicely formatted pieces of content that help you achieve your content goals – signups, purchases, etc.
  • On-page factors is a must for your site to be found in search. And as more and more on-page factors tend to influence the way search engines evaluate your site - you have to keep a close eye on each and every one of them.
  • Basically, you need to combine the bunch of well-known on-page techniques with a number of innovations storming into SEO now:
  1. Search-Engine Friendly URLs
  2. Optimized Titles, Descriptions & Images.
  3. Unique Content
  4. A Sitemap
  5. Socially Shareable Content.
Always Remember:

A few things to keep in mind for on/off-page SEO:

Quality: All pages must have substantial quality content.
Research: Have you researched what are the most valuable keywords for your page?
Engage: Does your content engage with users or do they bounce away quickly?
Fresh Content: Always have fresh content & introduce hot topics to keep users interested.
HTML Titles: Do your HTML Titles contain keywords and relevant topics?
Description: Does the meta description describe what the page is about accurately?
Headers: Remember to have the relevant keywords in Headers, Subheaders & Header Tags.
Structure: Have a structured layout to enhance listings.
Stuffing: Stop excessively using keywords.
Crawling: Make sure Search Engines can easy crawl your website.
Duplicate: Avoid duplicating content.
Links:  Only link to trusted, quality websites.

2013-ITWWW-Odette Nieuwoudt

Monday, 10 June 2013

Social Media - Generating a Following.

Do you use Social Media for business?
Have you been wondering how to increase your traffic & following?

The first thing you need to know is that building relationships with clients via Social Media takes time and effort. Running regular promotions and specials as a way of interacting with your fans and followers is a great way to show them that you have an interactive online presence and responding to everyone is an important way to show your following that you can engage with them, be their post positive or negative. 

With any Social Media, "You no longer own your brand message - the consumer does! You need to understand  how your audience views you and adjust as needed."  says Social Media & Branding Strategist Kim Garst.

These days Social Media has been moving more in a visual context direction, with both Facebook & Pinterest having enlarged their photo displays. Even websites have been using a more visual display to show their context. Twitter being known for their 140 character updates have also had to incorporate some visuals, by including videos and also enlarging image display. 


Most news hits Twitter before it hits the news channels. It's real time. The great thing about twitter is that you can tweet many times a day, whereas on Facebook this would be considered overkill. Short bursts of information a few times a day is a great way of showing followers that you are online-active. BUT - There is a big difference between bombarding followers with information and being fun and informative. Followers are more likely to interact with you if they feel you are more approachable.


On Facebook, gaining likes to your page is generally easier than gaining followers on Twitter since most of us have a personal profile with many of our friends on Facebook already. With Facebook there are many ways to gain a following to your business page, like linking the page to your personal profile in the Employer section. 

You can ask questions, run polls and get the opinion of your fans, and this way you can alter future posts to include what they like to show them that they matter to you as individuals. 
Something I've been seeing on many Facebook pages is the "Promo for Promo" initiative where pages of them same topic share each other with their fans to get more likes to each page. There are many ways to gain more likes on Facebook but this takes effort. The key to all Facebook updates is sharing great content. Don't waste any updates.


Google + is still relatively new to the scene in terms of marketing your business (behind Facebook and Twitter), but that doesn't mean that you can't use it to your advantage. Google Hangouts are a great way to engage with your clients. You can use Hangouts to communicate with them publicly about your brand and your business. You can also use it to introduce new products / services to your clients and see how they feel about it. Clients can also post their generally opinions of your business: what they like and what they would like you to do differently.


The greatest thing for any YouTube account is exposure. Sharing your videos on your other Social Media accounts is a must.  A YouTube subscriber is someone who has chosen to “follow” your channel and your content so they can stay updated with your latest videos. In essence, a subscriber can become a raving fan who watches, comments and shares your videos with others. Building up a strong subscriber base is essential for creating a powerful community online, and will attract them to your other Social Media pages. Your videos need to provide value for the watcher, posting videos today is not just about tips and services anymore, you need to approach it with a marketing end-result. Convey your content in an engaging and entertaining format that separates you from the rest.

In summary, gaining a following on your Social Media is all about how much time and effort you put into it. Adding your Social Media links to your email signature, website and business cards is a basic necessity. Running promotions to gain more likes / followers, advertising campaigns,  sharing frequently are just a few ways to let clients know that you are embracing Social Media.

2013-ITWWW-Odette Nieuwoudt

Monday, 3 June 2013

Your Website and SEO - What To Avoid?

The most frequently asked questions we get from our clients are what to avoid, to add and to hold back? Everything from designing the website, to the coding to the actual content needs to be done right - or it will hurt your SEO progress. The right question to ask would be "What can hurt the SEO of my website?"

Here are a few things you can avoid:

  • Poor Choice of Keywords:
Keywords are one of the most important aspects of SEO, and choosing them shouldn't be a hard task. Google has even made it easy for us with tools like Google Trends and AdWords, that suggest popular and rising keywords. Remember that you keywords have to have a direct connection with your content and what you are trying to promote / sell.

  • Poor URL & File Names
I've seen so many websites that are not grabbing on to this SEO opportunity and instead, naming pages and files like this: - which doesn't give clients any clues as to what exactly the page is about.

On the other hand, this one is fairly obvious, and contains relevant keywords:

Name your files something descriptive and Google will give you a little boost.

  • Inflexible Tech
The ideal is the ability to make type and go updates / changes to the website. When there are changes you should be able to add it quickly and efficiently without having to re-arrange the entire structure of your website.

  • Auto-Play
Auto-Play for videos/sounds - it's annoying, and will only attract the wrong kind of attention. Visitors don't want to scramble to shut down your audio/video because it's interrupting whatever they were playing when they entered your page. 

  • Duplicating Content
Many websites think they can become one-step-ahead of SEO by putting the same content on various pages and only changing some areas but keeping the keywords the same, this opens your website up to a search engine penalty and will hinder you chances at ranking.

  • Sacrificing Design for Content
While this may benefit your ranking, clients like to see an attractive website and are more likely to surf a website longer that is appealing to look at. 

  • Keyword Stuffing
Keywords may be important for SEO, but many make the mistake of using too many. This is probably one of the most common SEO mistakes. Not only is it unethical, but will definitely hurt you chances at ranking. Instead of using hidden or duplicate text, focus on creating useful pages that have your keywords implemented in them as part of the content. Trying to manipulate a search engine like Google is a big no-no.

While many of these seem basic, they can make a big difference in the over-all ranking and success of your website. When designing a new website, take a slow approach and make sure that it is user-friendly while being search-engine-optimized. Keeping all of this in mind can give you the maximum satisfaction from your website. Be smart. Be patient and outsource your content wisely.

2013-ITWWW-Odette Nieuwoudt