I told a customer of ours that “es schneit” and as he is a photographer and sits in his dark room in his dark cellar, he didn’t know what I meant and had to call his wife. Now he says it is schneiting and asked whether we’d continue working on his web site or go out and play. No play for us! Stephy and I just squeezed our noses excitedly against the window and are now back – I am doing the design mock-ups for our photographer’s web site, and Stephy is doing the HTML coding for our architectural psychologist customer. But we put a cheesy Christmas CD on!
Archive for December, 2009
Wow, if that isnt a reason to go twitter straight away: Read about Wine Library’s success.
The UK business forum sends me regular emails where their ecommerce purchasing guide is advertised. I wonder whether they are really impartial, they ask so few questions?
Ooh, this is useful:
Do I simply raise January invoices at 17.5%?
The short answer to this question is almost invariably “yes”. But if you have a lot of invoicing from early December to catch up on, then supplies made before 17 December will be subject to the old rate of VAT. This is because for most types of supplies the “basic tax point” is the date on which the supply was actually made, and if an invoice is raised more than 14 days after the basic taxpoint then the taxpoint reverts to the original date of supply rather than taking the invoice date. So if you are up to date with your invoicing by the time you take your Christmas break, then no problem at all.
You can read up on this here.
I met a nice search engine optimisation specialist today. He’s done this for over a decade and knows a lot about the changes that Google (and the likes) implement in the way the search engines work. For many a dark art, I can only recommend to go with a specialist and hence we do not do SEO in house, as we don’t have the man (or woman!) power to really get to the bottom of this.
These people need not only know about marketing, they need to know about the way search engines work and why Amazon is higher up in the rankings than your site.
Ross will get back with a few evaluations of our customer’s sites and give me his opinion and a quote as to what he would typically charge for work on them. It is always so hard to tie these SEO people down on price, so let’s see what he says. To be fair, he has some packages on his web site, and as with most companies, his site is sooo not search engine optimised, so you cannot judge from it, and I better not link to it…
Talking about linking to something; he says that it is important to have LOTS of incoming links, so make sure you go onto forums and sign your signature with a link to your web site, and put press releases out, get onto directories and more.
Hundreds and hundreds of search engine related newsletters wing their way into my inbox weekly. Maybe not quite that many but every ecommerce web site owner should subscribe to even more. The latest one I read about SEO for ecommerce sites was from Site Reference. It’s not hugely technical and most things they say are things we know but well worth to always keep at the front of your mind.
So they say that the five sins ecommerce site owners commit are: 1) they haven’t got enough content on the pages that don’t display products. So the home page and the category pages. Work on that, dear people!
2) They say that lots of ecommerce sites have bad URLs. The chances are that you have taken out our SEO-friendly URLs and are safe here.
3) Good meta descriptions – you can either choose to get the system to fill these automatically for you or you can get a system that allows you to edit every meta tag for every site. Site Reference say these are useful but not essential. We think so, too, so we leave this optional for you.
4) No alt tags on the images (alt stands for alternative text, for those who cannot see the image, which includes search engines of course). You are safe here where product images are concerned because the OsCommerce system we use does this for you.
5) the last issue they mention I cannot even pronounce; canonicalisation. If you go with a web site from us, your site will not have multiple URLs; in order to show a product in several categories, you don’t need to multiply it, just link to it from the various categories, and we explain how to do this.
So as far as these people are concerned, your site is okay if built with our version of OsCommerce.
what else comes to mind than “welcome to my new blog” – what a terrible thing that one sees on hundreds of web sites. You also see it on the home pages of most of our customers and ourselves! How do you get away from welcoming people to your site? Grumpy me again…
Anyway… 2009 was not a year to remember, and it is nearly over. Yippieh, I am quite glad. We survived bruised and muddy in the face, and we used the time to concentrate even more on fine tuning our ecommerce offering. We built a few very nice ecommerce sites, the most recent one is www.kinderpods.com, hope you like it. Of course you can see it in our portfolio as well, but then, who looks at it in detail, honestly? I know few people do, so now you must read about it.
Yesterday I went to an event by FreshMinds with several speakers, it was all for women and a lucky few got some of these clever women as mentors. So there I was, hoping I would get another mentor; I had a couple at the beginning of life-with-Moustique-Design of course, when I started it all up with the help of the Prince’s Trust. Since then, I had a couple of business coaches but now I wanted to try to get a mentor in a similar field as me. Well, I failed but I listened to Charlie Osmond explaining blogging and twittering and all the likes, and suddenly it made more sense. Not sure why it made me think that I can think of something to write – I guess his talk was clear, easy to follow and made sense, brought blogging into my business sphere and hence, and here is my new blog. Thank you, Charlie!
Also, I met some nice ladeees but probably will never keep in touch, as it is when going to these networking events. Oh vell.
the scary new blog has been sitting in my browser as an open tab for at least 10 days. “fill me, fill me” it screams. A thousand ideas I had, coming back from this networking event where someone described blogging in a way that got into my brain better than the others before. A thousand ideas I had all the way up to the point when my colleague Jenny said “the blog is ready, you can have a look at it already”. Gulp. Must write something meaningful.
I meant to call it “the grumpy web designer’s blog”. I think I will keep that thought, it suits me well! So onwards and upwards, here’s Anuschka filling these pristine pages. Enjoy!