Google Engage South Africa

by Administrator 20. July 2011 08:09

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to the launch of “Google Engage” South Africa. We obviously accepted the invitation because we are in the habit of finding better solutions for our clients.

What Google Engage is all about is not as technical as one might think but rather a program that empowers agencies like us with the knowledge and tools to enable our clients to run efficient “Search Engine Marketing” (SEM) campaigns.

We had a good understanding of Googles’ SEM but what astonished us mostly were the statistics they presented. We were not aware that small business in South Africa had such a negative view of the internet or should I say lack of understanding.

Our strategy going forward is to educate small business in South Africa on the value the internet has to offer and the lost opportunities.

One of my very first posts on the Blog was about how many business opportunities go by without even knowing they exist.

As an example we did an analysis yesterday on the keyword “electrician” did you know that for that single keyword there are 49 500 searches per month on Google? That is 49 500 missed opportunities for the guy that does not have a website or not advertising on the internet.

Now I don’t know about you guys but if my sales team had just 0.1% (49.5) of those prospects to close, at a closing ration of 20% that is 10 new clients at an average of R5000.00 per client. Do the sums!

Small business in South Africa drives our economy, why are some getting and others not.

I rest my case.

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Search Engine Optimization

Getting the search engines to find you.

by Administrator 15. July 2011 08:08

 Getting search engines to index your site properly and to come up when someone searches for you products is not an easy task.

 

We all hear about the importance of keywords and finding the right keywords to use, well there are dozens of tools that can assist with finding the right keyword for your site

In our experience there is a lot more to optimizing once you have decided on the right keyword to use. And we should opt more for key phrases than key words.

 

The most popular are the right ones to use because they are being searched more often than any other but be wary because you will have strong competition for that specific key word or key phrase. Try finding some that aren’t being used but have a good chance of being used by a prospect.

 

We are ranked on the first page of Google for “Wed Design Randburg” but for the key phrase “Web Design” we are on page 8. For “Android” we are nowhere but for Android development we are on Page one, Twice. For “Search Engine Optimization” we are on page 3 but for “Search Engine Optimization Randburg” we are on page one twice.

 

Selecting key phrases is important and it is not easy to optimize the website with key phrases that are in high demand.

 

So how many keywords or phrases should you be selecting, to optimize a page using 30 key words or phrases is almost impossible so we suggest you take four main key phrases and concentrate on those.

 

The second most important aspect of the SEO is to get good reliable, topical back links linking to your website from popular websites. This is time consuming and the result are not immediate it could take between six to twelve months before your sites back links are found, analysed and ranked by the search engines.

 

And last but by no means least, social networking plays a very important role in SEO and for promotion of your business.

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Search Engine Optimization

500 Error on SobiPro Frontend

by Administrator 3. June 2011 07:35

Adding a SobiPro extention to Joomla 1.6.3 running windows 2008 server with iis7 and php 5.2.3 I ran into the following problem where sobipro system requirements failed stating that the XSL extention should be installed. Herewith The steps. 

Thanks to http://blogs.iis.net/donraman/archive/2009/10/16/configuring-php-extension-on-windows-a-simple-way.aspx

  • Go to Control Panel
  • Click on Add/Remove Program (Or, Uninstall a program)
  • Select PHP MSI and click on 'Change'. Remember you should have installed PHP using the PHP MSI. If you have installed it using the ZIP file this won't work.
  • You will see the below UI.

image

  • Click on Next, following UI will appear.

image

  • Click 'Change'

image

  • Select 'IIS FastCGI'

image

  • Chose the extension you want to install and click 'Next'.

image

  • Click on 'Change'
  • Click on 'Finish' on next screen and you are done.

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Joomla

Thrive To Provide Better Web Design Services.

by Administrator 19. May 2011 07:57

Whats Happening at Interon right now?

 

We have increased our staff by another three members. JZ will be proud of us creating jobs and all.

 

We have moved into bigger offices. Good for the economy because we had to spend money.

 

We have increased our services to include 3D animations, multimedia presentations and the big one Android development.

 

And we are still one of the least expensive professional web design companies around.

 

 

What more can you ask for?

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Getting the right look

by Administrator 2. March 2011 19:10

We have had some horrifying experiences with clients that don't have an idea what they want when it comes to the “look and Feel” of their website.

We are able to do any layout they want but they need to give us some idea of what it is they are looking for, colour, ambiance, brightness an applications they want to run.

A recent experience was with a client that wanted “ a classic design, that is unique”. What the heck? What I understand as classic and you understand as classic are two different things altogether. And that is a dumb brief especially when you aren't paying for conceptualization. You have to be a little more specific.

Go into your hair stylist and ask them to do you hair in a classic but unique fashion, then wait and see what you get. Nobody is that stupid to get what they expect. What do you think.

I asked a architect to design me a contemporary home with an eastern twist, can you guess what they asked me? What the hell is a contemporary home and what part of the east are you looking for, Brakpan, India, Japan or China.

Please people give us something to work with here.

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What Web Browser not to use

by Administrator 3. February 2011 20:36

 About the Browser

Browsers have come a long way since the first Netscape browser that was popular in the early 1990's, which was taken over in popularity by Microsoft's internet explorer-and many others which were of little significance to us as South African users.

Today the popularity has shifted somewhat to others that boast a huge array of features that most of us will never be able to use. Check out the top rated browsers for 2011 at http://internet-browser-review.toptenreviews.com/

What beats me is that we still have web surfers-are we still called web surfers?- that use probably the worst browser ever developed. Internet Explorer version 6. If you are one of these change now...please. The is absolutely nothing good about this browser, which came out with very early version of Windows XP. We have moved on since then, move with us.

It is absolute madness for the web developers because we need to build to suit all browsers otherwise we miss out on those visitors that ARE still using the deplorable IE6 and it is a nightmare-thanks Bill.

According to a 2009 statistics report the most popular browser is Internet Explorer with 47 percent users (12%) of those are still using IE6. Next comes Mozilla Firefox with 42% the Safari 3.8 and Chrome with 3.5 and 5th is Opera with 2.2

Well things have changed drastically since the 2009 a poll run a year later with 14000 votes puts Mozilla Firefox first, Google Chrome second, Opera third, Internet explorer fourth and Safari fifth.

And I am still flabbergasted that we have a huge percentage of Internet Explore 6 users.

Us as web developer have made a drastic decision not to support IE6, if our clients want us to cater for this low percentage of users we would need to charge them extra, why for a dying product.

Go and get any of the others they are FREE!

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Do you trust your web designer?

by Administrator 27. January 2011 19:10

 When our prospective clients complain that they relate our industry to some contractors, you know, the ones that take your money and never deliver. Well I am ashamed to say this is true when dealing with the fly-by-night web developers but not all of us are like that.

So who have they been dealing with?

CASE 1: One complained that they paid for a site and it was never delivered, they ran away with the poor guys money never to be seen again.

CASE 2: Another said they provided the brief and paid for a website that should function as an online store only to find that their web designer never knew what they were doing and slapped something together that never worked.

CASE 3: Just yesterday a prospect complained that they paid an absolute fortune for a site that was developed with an open source program and looked really bad, never function properly and had tons of goodies on it that they really didn't want.

Now you know why people don't trust us.

 So what do you look for when appointing a reputable web designer or developer.

 Look at their website and see if it is functional, aesthetically appealing and easily provides the information you are looking for.

 I have come across so called web designers that don't even have their own websites yet they want to take your money and develop one for you.

 Go to http://validator.w3.org and type in their web address and check that they have no errors on their website.

 A website with errors in the code is bound to have problems in some browsers, show bad characters in the text and even mess around with the internal links on the pages. You must ensure that the website work in all browsers. The least you should expect is that it works in Internet explorer 6 or later, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera. These are the most commonly used in South Africa.

 W3C  is the world wide web consortium which control or oversees the methods used for web development.

Check their portfolio or sample of websites they have done and contact the clients to find out what their impression of their web developer was.

 If the developer has no portfolio  there is no experience to rely on, you decide. You bosses son who has just left school and has managed to put a site together for the rugby club is not the same as a professional service.

 A reputable company will have customer references on their website for their prospects to view.

 Look for customer testimonials  on their website, call the customer who wrote the testimonial and find out what their experience was with the web developer.

 Although some freelance web designers are brilliant at what they do not all of them will have the same commitment to do the job, be aware.

 Would you take your Mercedes to someone that works in their garage at home, I rest my case. Anyone can design a website, but not everyone can make it work properly.

Explain your objective and ask them to outline how they propose to meet this objective.

If you want to sell stuffed toys on the internet the common thing to ask for is the process of how the visitor can order, pay and provide delivery details. Or if you just want an online brochure how do they plan to give you visitor stats , a site counter is not enough you need something more detailed.

 Lastly find out what search engine optimization is included in the price and what they are capable of doing beyond the basic development.

 Basic SEO is part of the design, however full Search Engine Optimization  must come with some form of validation report to back-up what they have done.

Don't miss out on the prospective clients...

by Administrator 25. January 2011 17:48

I have had a frustrating past couple of weeks trying to understand why some companies still refuse to believe the value of a website or a presence on the internet.

 The first objection is always about money and it's obvious businesses do not have extra money to splash out on something they don't believe adds value to there business, but this is probably the weakest excuse of all. And it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, a website will pay for itself over and over if it is developed with the right objectives in mind.

 Here is an example:

One of our clients provides plumbing and bathroom renovation services and was adamant that no one will ever look at his website on the internet, so we provided some search statistics for plumbers. The average monthly search for plumbers on Google in South Africa is 49500 per month. If you are one of the plumbers without a website you won't see any of this business.

 Who is daft enough to throw away 49500 opportunities?

 After reading and publishing numerous articles about the value of owning internet “real estate” the mind still boggles when I hear from South African businesses that believe a website is a white elephant and adds no value to there business.

 If we ask the companies that we have developed websites for whether they could do without their website, the answer is a definite NO! WHY? Because they found the real value through feedback from their customers, an increase in business enquiries and commitment from their employees.

A client that we did some development for earlier this year had their website on the back burner for five years until we convinced them of the benefits, they have since done four websites for various divisions and are thinking of revamping agin to give their customers fresh information.

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