Online 2010 – things to consider

Well we’re in 2010, so here are a few things you may want to have a think about in regards to your own website.

Firstly Google will be changing things up next year just one of the many aspects they’ll be looking at is the speed of your website, basically how long it takes to load a page. This is already one of the factors considered for AdWord campaigns so you might want to look at your landing page and optimise it if you can.

More importantly have a look at your whole site and see if you can optimise what’s already there, it might not take much to optimise the images but it could make a difference to your Google Ranking score. Even if it doesn’t your page will load faster and your visitors will respond better as they won’t be left waiting, so you’ve nothing to lose.

The next big thing to consider is mobile surfing, this year really will be the year of the mobile (something that keeps being said year upon year). So why will it finally be this year, well that’s simple, the iPhone has really opened the flood gates, lot’s of apps, unlimited access to the internet for email and web surfing that actually works.

Now every other mobile phone company are trying to build and promote the next iPhone killer, so what does this mean to all of us, simply quicker adoption. Just think how many people you know who check email or check something online with their mobile now and imagine just 6-8 months from now, all the new mobile contracts will be renewed with newer smartphones as part of the package -Start planning your business to be mobile friendly!

Businesses adopted email on mobiles properly in 2008/9 with Blackberry paving the way, so 2010 is the consumer markets turn and the companies know exactly how to target them, by using social media interaction (Motorola are really pushing this angle with Nokia hot on their heels).

Mass market means that you have more avenues to sell your product or services to, the only real problem is that websites just haven’t been built with mobiles in mind. So 2010 will see all web development companies jumping on the band wagon.

Thankfully we’ve been preparing for this and have ways to score a website on a mobile device (get in touch if you would like a free assessment score). Also your marketing using emails will need to consider the smaller screens of mobiles and dowload times (really quick mobile downloads still aren’t quite there yet – Maybe the tail end of this year).

Developing a website for a mobile can sometimes cost more money to do, but if you’re smart about it a single website could work for both mobiles and desktops/ laptops/ netbooks instead of developing a whole separate site. The main thing is speed and the ability to collapse to a smaller screen well.

Getting away from the mobiles, proper marketing research looks to be making a small comeback as companies no longer try to do it all themselves and rediscover the lost art of traditional marketing. Leading on from that surprisingly I’ve heard a lot of chatter about┬ádirect mail in the last couple of weeks!

Yes I said it Direct Mail – I’ve thought about this and it makes sense. Remember when people used to complain about getting all that junk mail through the letter box, well spam emails have now become that, so many new businesses are returning to the traditional methods. Be prepared for snail mail to become a much bigger part of your marketing again.

Make sure however that what you send is of actual value as it will very quickly be labelled as junk mail and tossed out – which is a waste of your marketing budget and certainly doesn’t help the environment, be mindful of your resources – all of them.

So what else does 2010 hold for us, well for small businesses over the UK the London Olympic bids for business hots up over the year with most of the bigger contracts already tied up there are lot’s of smaller ones still being decided. The Commonwealth Games up in Glasgow also gets put on the radar a little more, so start working out your long term strategies now, it’s seems really far away but trust me if you have a good basic outline that you expand each year you’ll thank me.

On a personal note I’m really looking forward to expanding my business and becoming part of some local inititives to help local businesses (already in the works), it should be great fun, so I’ll share some stories on this blog in a new section.

I hope everyone reading this had a great start to the year and is as excited as I am for 2010.

live long and prosper

Alan

Data Protection Act – Do you need to obey?

I get quite a lot of clients ask me about the Data Protection Act and if they need to comply or not. I can’t legally advise them one way or another as it’s different for each company and what details they are holding.

What I can usually do is point them in the direction of the act itself, but I came across this handy site with a good break down of it.

http://www.is4profit.com/business-advice/business-law/your-firm-and-the-data-protection-act/notification.html

Get better mobile dongle speeds

Ok so it’s not the most practical method but if you are stuck somewhere and you really need to boost your mobile broadband connection then trying a variation on this may just help out.

If you are particularly adventurous and have rubbish wifi, then there is a bunch of Newzelanders who are taking the poormans wifi booster to a new level

I’m really looking forward to 2010 I hope you are too!

Alan