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Browser Statistics

Browser Statistics – October 2010

The web browser statistics have been released through October 2010. The stats are published monthly at W3CSchools.com.

Below are the web browser stats for October 2010.

2010 IE9 IE8 IE7 IE6
October .4% 17.3% 7.2% 4.8%
September .2% 17.3% 8.0% 5.6%
August 16.2% 7.8% 6.7%
July 15.6% 7.1% 7.2%
June 15.7% 8.1% 7.2%
May 16.0% 9.1% 7.1%
April 16.2% 9.3% 7.9%
March 15.3% 10.7% 8.9%
February 14.7% 11.0% 9.6%
January 14.3% 11.7% 10.2%
2010 Firefox Chrome Safari Opera
October 44.1% 19.2% 3.9% 2.2%
September 45.1% 17.3% 3.7% 2.2%
August 45.8% 17% 3.5% 2.3%
July 46.4% 16.7% 3.4% 2.3%
June 46.6% 15.9% 3.6% 2.1%
May 46.9% 14.5% 3.5% 2.2%
April 46.4% 13.6% 3.7% 2.2%
March 46.2% 12.3% 3.7% 2.2%
February 46.5% 11.6% 3.8% 2.1%
January 46.3% 10.8% 3.7% 2.2%

In summary, since IE9 has been released we’re seeing a significant dip in IE7 and IE6 users, which is excellent! IE8 is staying at a steady 17.3% and IE9 users are slowly coming into existence.  We’re seeing a slight decrease of Firefox users by 1% and a 2% jump in Chrome users. Safari, and Opera are at their usual steady 2-3 percentages (yet we’re actually seeing a very slight, gradual increase in  Safari’s popularity, jumping up .1-.2% each month).

Photo Gallery

Using a Photo Gallery Can Increase Your SEO Value

One of the simplest ways of updating your website is to update your photo gallery. Photo galleries, in general, provide great search engine benefits to your site. In many cases, as long as the gallery is not built using Flash, adding one image, will create multiple pages on the site for Google to crawl. The more content on your site, the more likely you are to get more traffic.

Here are a few suggestions for how you can use a photo gallery system to make regular updates to your site:
 

  • Add a new album
  • Add a new photograph or image
  • Edit the caption of an existing image
  • Edit the details of the album
  • Include your ideal keyword search terms in the caption of the image
  • Add multiple images from an event
  • Link from your blog or other pages to the photo gallery

Maintaining your website isn’t the hardest thing to do, finding the time to do it is. So make a plan and include photo gallery management as part of that plan. If you put forth the effort to include this in your plan you will be more likely to add more photos and increase the size of your site, resulting in more traffic and more business.

Closed for Thanksgiving

We will be closed starting Thanksgiving Day through the weekend.

inConcert Web Solutions will be closed beginning on Thanksgiving Day through the following weekend. Our office will reopen on Monday, November 29. All website maintenance requests and website changes that are requested within this time period will be completed upon our reopening in the order that they were received.

Enjoy your holiday and Happy Thanksgiving!

As a small business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate; keeping up with bills, hiring qualified employees, ensuring profitability, all the while you’re trying to maintain a decent reputation and attract new business prospects. I want you to ask yourself this question, “How do I want my company to be perceived?” Do you want people to look at you as a polished company with professional employees, or maybe you want your funky character to shine through letting prospects feel as though you are cool, laid back and easy to talk to? Either way, your branding is of vital importance in portraying your business character, yet this is something that many small business owners don’t put enough time and energy into.

Say you’re looking for a reputable lawyer to assist you with your upcoming real estate transaction; you obviously want to find someone who has a good track record, who’s professional, and who can get the job done. Simply based on the two logos provided below, which law firm would you choose to go with?

Law Logos

Based on Logo Only, Which Firm Would You Choose?

I assume you probably said The Law Office of David Rocheford. Why is that? In theory, John Smith could be just as good of a lawyer as Mr. Rocheford, but the way that he represents his business is not. John Smith’s logo is an obvious piece of clipart, with harsh colors and no type treatment. It seems as though the logo was thrown together in a matter of minutes, which makes me wonder…is this how Mr. Smith conducts his business as well?

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “That’s ridiculous, I would never have to make a decision like that based on a logo alone. I’d do my research and if John Smith had a better track record, who cares what his logo looks like?” You may be right. However, IF you do your research and find that company A is better than company B, then by all means, choose company A. But you may not realize how much company identity sways your decisions in your everyday life.

When you spend money on something, you want to get the best quality for your money, right? Well, if your branding is perceived as cheap looking, the potential customer will confidently assume that the product/service will be just as cheap. Will that always be the case? Absolutely not, but like it or not, this is how the human mind works. You must put yourself in the position of a potential buyer and say to yourself, “If I knew nothing about my company and I was on the outside looking in, would I buy or move on to the next candidate?”

Email Etiquette

Using an Email Marketing Service is More Favorable Than Simply Using Outlook

Email Marketing is an incredibly valuable tool for your business to reach your current customers and retain your current customer base.  Use email marketing as an effective way to grow sales as well; providing you take care not to turn off the customer.

The following are some examples of things you should and should not do with regard to email marketing.

  • Use an email marketing service such as Constant Contact.
  • When using email marketing services do not send emails more than twice a month if you are in a business-to- business environment.  If you are in a business-to-consumer environment than email no more than 3 times a month.  Sending too many emails to your customer base will force them to opt out.
  • Email marketing services actually protect you from the federal laws associated with the Can Spam Act allowing your subscribers to opt out and never receive future emails from you.  If you do not use an email marketing service and you use something like Outlook to send email messages and the person replies to that message asking you to opt them out and you do not comply with that request then you are subject to heavy fines by the federal government.
  • If you choose to use Outlook to send your emails do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT put all the email addresses in the “To” field.  This exposes all of the email addresses to the entire list and anybody can choose “Reply All” or copy all the email addresses for their own address book.  This is a very dangerous practice.
    If you must use Outlook email to send a mass email, send to no more than 50 people at a time and put all 50 addresses in the “BCC” field.  The “To” field should be addressed to yourself.  This protects your email addresses and other people cannot get them.
  • Your Subject Line is incredibly important.  You must have a valuable Subject Line in order for people to open the email and read it.  If you do not have a valuable subject line people will just discard it and, in fact, Spam blockers may actually put the email right into the Spam or Junk folder.
  • Expectations.  You need to set expectations and understand what the average number of responses are for your industry.  In general, an “open rate” of 20% is a good open rate in email marketing.  Business-to-Consumer and retail-type outlets can get a higher open rate because people are looking for specials and savings & opportunities like that.  However, it’s incredibly important that you monitor your open rate; you cannot do that using a service like Outlook.  Email marketing services, like Constant Contact,  do have statistics provided to you in your control panel that show you the open rate and the “Click Through” rate.
  • When doing email marketing offer something of value to your customer base. Offer a special, offer a discount, or an email club-only discount.  Create a unique value proposition and use that so that your customer base feels like they are getting something in return for actually spending the time to open your email.  They may not want your offer at this time; however, at least you are making an offer to them & asking them to do something.  You need to tell people what you want them to do and using email marketing to actually accomplish things; as an example, announcing a special event or announcing a Grand Opening or offering a new product at a discount is an incredibly valuable tool!

In summary when using email marketing, know who your audience is, use an email marketing service, monitor the results through statistics and do it with consistency.  If you are looking to do email marketing and would like a free consultation, we encourage you to contact inConcert Web Solutions. We’ll be happy to walk you through the process or even do it for you.

  1. A CAPTCHA is an important part of a web form. Surely you have seen a CAPTCHA by now; they are becoming the standard on most online forms. CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. It is a spam prevention tool which generates an image of distorted letters and/or numbers. The person filling out the form must type an exact match of what is in the image before the form will properly submit. This basically verifies the form is being submitted by a human and not a spam bot.
  2. Importance of Contact Form – Utilizing a contact form on your website is very
    Contact Form Example

    An Example of a Simple Contact Form

    important. A lot of people carelessly throw their email address onto their websites without thinking twice, by no fault of their own, as they are simply not properly educated on the subject. We highly recommend to all of our clients that they avoid this practice and instead use a contact form. By listing your email address on your website, spam bots can crawl your site, pick up any email addresses listed, throw them into a spam database and begin slamming you with illegitimate, offensive and nonsense emails. By integrating a Contact Form, no one will ever see your email address, thus eliminating the chance for spam bots to have access to your address. By adding a CAPTCHA to your form, you are almost eliminating the chance for spammers to get your email by way of your website. Not only will a contact form decrease spam, but it is also a great tool to analyze your business. By utilizing a dropdown menu (or something similar) to give the viewer the option to choose the subject of their comment or inquiry, you can determine what people are most frequently contacting you about. Giving them a comments box to freely express what they need is also helpful. In addition, by using something like Google Analytics, you can see how many people navigate to the contact form and actually submit it.

  3. Elements of a Form – You can get pretty creative with forms if you so choose, however, you need to be aware that the longer the form is, the less likely someone is going to fill it out and submit it. You will want to keep it as simplified as possibly while still gathering all of the information that is needed to process the specified request. Here is a list of what types of elements you can utilize in your web forms.
    • Text Box – a simple, one line box that allows the input of text
    • Text Area – similar to the text box, but with a text area you can enter multiple rows of text.
    • Drop Down – a list of items that the viewer can choose from. On a contact form, this is often used to determine which department they want to contact or what the inquiry is regarding.
    • Checkbox – these are used when you want to allow someone to choose more than one option
    • Radio Button – a radio button is used when you only want to allow one option to be chosen
    • File Select – this control allows the viewer to browse to a file on their local computer and upload it to your server.
    • Reset Button – a reset button will reset all of the fields/buttons to their initial values
    • Submit Button – Submits the form to the specified email address, providing that all necessary information is filled out
  4. PDF Forms – If you have a form that is rather long in length, it might be a good idea to
    Fillable PDF Form

    An Example of a Fillable PDF Form

    forgo the web form and create a fillable PDF form. This can only be done if you have the correct software such as Adobe Acrobat Pro, but any graphic designer or web development company should be able to help you out if you do not have the resources. When you create a fillable PDF document, you have all of the same options as you would a webform (text boxes, check boxes, radio buttons, etc.) With a PDF form, you can integrate buttons that allow the user to save it to their local computer, print it, or email it to a specified recipient. A good use of a PDF form would be for documents such as applications. You can also create a PDF that is just static (not fillable) for someone to download, fill out, and mail to you.

  5. Form Suggestions – A good rule of thumb is to always use some kind of form when asking for information from your website viewers. Here are some suggestions for implementing forms on your website:
  • Web Form Ideas
    • Contact Form – As mentioned earlier in this article, contact forms are extremely important for being able to sort out inquiries, analyze data, and prevent spam.
    • RFQ – Do you offer a product or service that is quoted on a job by job basis? Implementing a Request for Quote form is an excellent idea to generate leads.
    • Material/Sample Request – Do you offer free samples of your product or certain materials you use? Setup a form to take these requests.
  • PDF Form Ideas (Fillable or Static)
    • Employment/Volunteer/Membership Applications – Usually these applications are multiple pages long. A PDF form is ideal for this so the applicant can either print it and mail it to you or digitally fill it out and email it to you. If you require information such as social security numbers and/or credit card numbers that shouldn’t be shared via an unsecure web connection, make sure you do not give the option of submitting the form through email. Forms requesting such information would be best as a static form.
    • Patient Forms (static) – By offering patient forms online, this would significantly reduce the time waiting at the doctor’s office. NOTE: We do not suggest submitting forms such as medical surveys, financial information, etc. over an unsecured web server. If using a form for this type of information, we suggest making it a downloadable form that they can print and mail to you or hand deliver.

A CAPTCHA is an important part of a web form. Surely you have seen a CAPTCHA by now; they are becoming the standard on most online forms. CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. It is a spam prevention tool which generates an image of distorted letters and/or […]

The web browser statistics have been released through September 2010. The stats are published monthly at W3CSchools.com.
Below are the web browser stats for September 2010.

2010
IE9
IE8
IE7
IE6

September
.2%
17.3%
8.0%
5.6%

August
 
16.2%
7.8%
6.7%

July
 
15.6%
7.1%
7.2%

June
 
15.7%
8.1%
7.2%

May
 
16.0%
9.1%
7.1%

April
 
16.2%
9.3%
7.9%

March
 
15.3%
10.7%
8.9%

February
 
14.7%
11.0%
9.6%

January
 
14.3%
11.7%
10.2%

 

2010
Firefox
Chrome
Safari
Opera

September
45.1%
17.3%
3.7%
2.2%

August
45.8%
17%
3.5%
2.3%

July
46.4%
16.7%
3.4%
2.3%

June
46.6%
15.9%
3.6%
2.1%

May
46.9%
14.5%
3.5%
2.2%

April
46.4%
13.6%
3.7%
2.2%

March
46.2%
12.3%
3.7%
2.2%

February
46.5%
11.6%
3.8%
2.1%

January
46.3%
10.8%
3.7%
2.2%

In summary, it seems as though people have started to upgrade from the lower versions of Internet Explorer and are driving up the popularity of IE8. The IE9 public beta version […]

Google Analytics is fairly well known software created by Google. Analytics, as it is sometimes called, provides website statistics and tracking for an overall understanding of how effective your website is.  We recommend installing Google Analytics onto every website that we create.  Here are a number of reasons why:

It’s free to use and to access
There […]

As a business owner, you know by now that a web presence in today’s world is a necessity. You could go the cheap route and grab an inexpensive design template with a built-in content management system for a couple hundred dollars. But how well will that templated design represent your company? First impressions are often […]