Monthly Archives: September 2008

Tips to make your website load faster

It is pretty annoying when you try to open a website that takes ages to load. Not everyone is blessed with good internet speed and in the world where everything runs in the fast lane, slow loading websites are the worst mistake anyone can make. The worst thing that could happen with slow loading sites is losing the potential clients. There are thousands of competitors on the World Wide Web and the visitor will be easily driven to the competitor’s site. To avoid this you can follow few things to make your website load faster.

  1. Images:
    Large sized images could be blamed for slow loading sites. Images are an essential part of your website. In order to let the images load faster you need to follow these steps:

    • The first thing you need to do is size your image correctly. You cannot decrease the size of an image by just decreasing the height and width. If you have an image of size 40k, decreasing its width and height will still make it the same 40k size. I was making the same mistake on my blog till someone pointed it out to me. When I did this the image’s quality degraded. You can use image editor like Adobe Photoshop to decrease the size of the image.
    • The second important thing is to use proper format. If you have complex pictures .jpg format works the best. For simple images with fewer colors .gif files are appropriate. .png format works for both but they could have larger file size.
    • You can even slice images in order to decrease its size. Image slicing is the process of slicing a larger image into smaller images and then putting them back together using an HTML table. This reduces the file size of the image and makes the web page download faster.
    • Using thumbnails is also a good idea to make the pages load faster. You can use Java Script and display only the thumbnail size of the picture and let the user see the larger image only when he clicks on the image.
  2. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) Files:
    Table based sites might take longer time to load. The better alternative is using CSS files. The advantage in using these files is that the browser cache can directly read the .css file which makes it convenient and takes lesser time than to read each tag every time the page loads. You can also compress your CSS files. Continue reading

Web Video Optimization

video optimizationWith the growing popularity of video on the web, people are finding new ways to promote their videos and be seen on search engine results as well. The video should portray and be able to send the message to the viewers. The other interesting fact is, creativity is really important when it comes to video marketing. If it is the same commercial you watch it on t.v, then well people would rather prefer that than go online and download something they are familiar with. It should be unique and the presentation should bring on the desire. Lets say you are selling a software, the best way to shoot online marketing video for it would be to show its best features highlighting on how easy it is to use. There are analytics tools like YouTube Insight which displays the statistics for the YouTube Videos like the number of views, the demographic and geographic views and the medium through which people have found a certain video. I have collected few guidelines and tips on how you can promote and optimize your videos to get more traffic and views.

  1. Keyword Research: The first step includes keyword research. In order to optimize anything on web (a website, blog) you need to do proper keyword research. You need to list all the possible keywords relevant to your video. Next you need to check on the search results for these terms and see the performance of the top position results. You need to check their view counts, the feedback of the users, the posted date and the relevancy. These will help you find out how popular these key terms are along with how people react to it and it has already passed its due date. These will also help you come up with better video.
  2. Video Editing: You need to produce shorter and interesting clips to attract visitors. People are more thrilled by shorter videos than the longer ones and you can also submit short videos to the search engines. You can add your web address to the video as a graphic. You can also place a link to the original video on this shorter clip make this link your subdomain.  Continue reading

Marketing on Flickr

Marketing on Flickr
Flickr:

Web 2.0 is about socializing on the web world, which includes sharing various news, articles, jokes and pictures. Among all these, pictures are considered as one of the best medium to convey the message to the audience and are used in great deal in marketing. Flickr is one of the best places to share pictures and manage them. It is one of the easiest photo management and sharing application on web today. Flickr has more than 775,000 registered users, has 30 percent monthly growth rate, 19.5 billion+ photos and is the 5th most popular photo sharing site overall. The reason behind its popularity is its easy-to-use interface and social computing tools.

Opening a Flickr account is really easy, you need to sign in with your yahoo account, register for a Flickr account which is free and you can upload the pictures and manage them. You can also download the Flickr Uploadr tool to upload your pictures easily and of course faster. According to Rohit Bhargava, “Flickr is not just a community of photos, it is a community where high quality photography is appreciated.” So before you start off with anything, make sure you have good pictures with you. You can then join various Flickr groups and add photos there following their posting rules. Flickr group where like minded people join and share their creativity related to the group theme for example people who are interested in shoes, can join groups: Men’s shoes or shoes.com and many more.

Marketing:

You can use Flickr to spread the word about your company. The tool here is your pictures which need to be good enough to attract people’s attention. Here’s how you can make use of your Flickr account to advertise your product or service.

  1. Flickr Screen Name:
    The Flickr screen name is the one that represents your account. It is the name that will be used with every photo you upload, attached with your comments, any message you post on the group discussion and everywhere else on Flickr. Since this name is so important you use your company’s URL as your screen name. By doing you are advertising your URL without much effort.
  2. Flickr “Pro” account:
    You can get a Pro account to enjoy more benefits of Flickr. You can start off with the free account which limits your upload to 200 photos. The advantage of a Pro account is unlimited photo uploads, video uploads and a Pro icon next to your screen name and not to forget other benefits provided for the paid users. $24.95 is worthy for 15 months of great Flickr experience.
  3. Flickr Profile:
    The next step on Flickr is to provide more information about your company on your profile. You can do this by writing about your company in “Describe Yourself” box and uploading your company’s logo as the Buddy Icon. You can also give your website name and address making other members to easily reach your page.
  4. Quality Photos related to your company:
    As I’ve mentioned earlier, quality photos are a must for Flickr account. You need to upload pictures related to your business for example if your company is about shoes, you need to upload pictures of various designs. People who are interested will hence visit your site to know more.
  5. Tagging:
    Flickr has the facility to tag your pictures. It is important that you tag your photos properly. You can use various keywords related to your product for tagging. Make sure those are searched key phrases and are relevant to your images. It is likely that your image views will come from the people searching for these tags.
  6. Groups:
    You need to join groups that are related to your product or service. There are many groups to choose from hence selecting the relevant one might not be that hard. You can also join groups related to your location. You can join discussions and upload photos to reach your targeted audience.
  7. Flickr Community:
    Socializing on Flickr means joining group discussions and commenting on other people’s photos. Every time you do this, your name and the buddy icon will appear alongside, giving you more Flickr exposure.
  8. Link Flickr from your site:
    At last but not the least you need to link to your Flickr account from your website. The visitors on your website might be interested on your photos as well. The other benefit of linking to Flickr account is that your website visitors might be Flickr account holders who might add you to their friends list and help you socialize more.

Flickr marketing might not work for all type of businesses but giving it a try will not harm anyone. It is important that you do not “spam” on Flickr or try to use hard sell method here. According to Flickr Terms: you cannot upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other form of solicitation, except in those areas (such as shopping) that are designated for such purpose. It is always better to know about their terms and start being creative on Flickr.

September 11, 2008 ISSUE #27

Social Media Optimization | SMO

When we talk about Web 2.0, we talk about establishing and maintaining relationships. As a web professional your job is not only to attract visitors but to encourage them to become frequent ones. With the importance of social media on the web, Mr. Rohit Bhargava came up with the term Social Media Optimization (SMO). While Search Engine Optimization is about making your site visible to search engines, SMO’s concept is to optimize your site in order to make it visible on social media searches, easy to be linked to, visible on internet search engine for blogs like Technorati and get included on various blogs, vlogs and podcasts. SMO method includes adding RSS feeds, bookmarking and sharing buttons and blogging. You can easily add these buttons by visiting AddThis site. You can enhance your website with third party community functionalities like Flickr photos and galleries or YouTube videos.

Mr. Bhargava has set 5 rules of SMO:-

  1. Increase your linkability:
    Search engine optimization talks about getting relevant backlinks. Social media optimization however emphasizes on the need of making your website linkable. In most cases websites are hardly updated and display limited content. To enhance the linkable feature on such websites, adding blog could be a better idea.
  2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy:
    As I mentioned earlier, you need to add quick buttons to make bookmarking and tagging easier. You can add button. You can include list of relevant tage and suggested notes for a link. You need to tag your pages on popular social bookmarking sites as well.  Continue reading