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Make Your Web Pages Faster 24 June 2009

Posted by muntjack in Websites.
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Bootstrap Marketing Tip No.46

Web users don’t like to wait.  They will loose patience if your site is slow to load or run.  They may not even wait for your site to load if it is very slow.  Site speed is vital for a good visitor experience. There are a few simple things you can do: limit the number and size of images; don’t run loads of java scripts.

There are also some techie things that can greatly improve your speed, including gzip compression, which is pretty standard these days.  These coding issues may be beyond many site owners, but if your site was designed by a professional, speed should be one of the issues they resolve for you.

You can quickly check how fast your site is loading using one of several free speed tests around.  WebSiteOptimization, in which I have no financial interest, offers a quick and easy test.  Just enter your URL and get a result in seconds.  They give results scores in green/amber/red to help the non-techies, along with comment about improvement.

Google have entered the debate and are encouraging us to think about site speed, though they say it does not affect page rank ‘at present‘.  See what Google are saying about web speed on their blog.  If you’re a webmaster, they offer tips and tutorials.

Do you think Google will use website speed for page ranking in the future?  Leave your views.

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Summer Trends or Winter Trends – Give Your Sales a Boost 18 June 2009

Posted by muntjack in Marketing.
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Bootstrap Marketing Tip No.42

Are you in a market niche where trends change according to the season?  Be ready to boost your efforts by researching those trends and planning your marketing.

The Google keywords gives you monthly search figures for the last year, but for an in-depth analysis use Google Trends (if your sales are restricted to a single country, google ‘Google Trends’ to get your local trends site).

Try to identify those trends that you can respond to with fresh marketing content or products.  Take a critical look at large online stores that sell your type of products, you can be sure that they will have done their homework!

Search on Twitter to see what people are discussing and what needs they identify.  Do the same on your favorite forums.  You may also find the social bookmarking sites like Digg, Stumble Upon and del.icio.us are useful, though I find they are better for non-seasonal trends (movies, games, news and so on).

Once you’ve done your research, create and publish your new content, articles, newsletter, blog and forum posts to catch the attention of visitors as they browse for their seasonal needs.

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Bootstrap marketing and the humble invoice 3 June 2009

Posted by muntjack in Image.
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Bootstrap Marketing Tip No.31

Invoicing is not often seen as a marketing function, but for the bootstrap marketer everything your company does is marketing and no opportunity is wasted.  Organised and efficient invoicing is not only a money collecting function, it is another chance to build a relationship with your customers and to reinforce your image.  Prompt, accurate and courteous invoices demonstrate efficiency and good business practice.  This can be particularly important in B2B sales.  Your invoice is also a chance to show how you value existing customers by offering a discount off their next order, tell them about a new product or just simply thanking them for their custom and promising further efficient service.  Always on the lookout for free stuff, I’ve spotted Billing Boss’s free online invoicing service.  It can integrate with Paypal they say, emails and tracks invoices, creates lists and so on.

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Website analytics – a vital marketing tool 25 May 2009

Posted by muntjack in Profitability.
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Bootstrap Marketing Tip No.24

Do you really know how your website or blog is performing? Chances are if you are not using website analytics the answer is, No!  Website analytics packages are available free, they’re easy to set up, and – lets be clear – they are vital.  Find out how many visitors you get and from where, how long they stay and how they use your site – and much more.   Your website host quite possibly provides website analytics for you.  If not, or if you’re dissatisfied with what’s on offer, click into one of the many sites that offer the service.  Google analytics is ever popular.  For a simple package with most of the functions you will need try Statcounter.

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