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June 01, 2007

Marios Molfetas spotted on Poros rowing a boat!

Writing about web page http://www.wmccm.co.uk

We have heard reports of a sighting of our ex-colleague Marios rowing a boat off Poros. This is good news as it means that he succeeded in avoiding Greek National Service in the Army by volunteering for the Navy!

With any luck he will get posted to the Military Museum in Athens were Navy ‘conscripts’ were posted when my family visited recently. Alison noted that it was a nice quiet, cool, place to nurse a hangover.
The Families Molfetas, McGonigle, Alexios & Helena
Our last meeting with Marios and his parents was in Kifissia. Alexios Gegios and Helena also joined.


January 09, 2007

Half of all visitors to WMCCM use their own unique search term.

Writing about web page http://www.wmccm.co.uk

The last 30,000 visitors to www.wmccm.co.uk referred by search engines used just over 20,000 different search terms.

The most popular search terms are used by hundreds of visitors resulting in over 15,000 terms being used uniquely by only one visitor.
These visitors may have used other more popular terms but half of our visitors came up with their own search term.

This diversity of terms is generated by the permutations of relatively few key words. One architectural balustrade company recorded over 2000 search terms and 66% of those contained the stem variants of balustrade, balustrading, etc or hand rail, handrail etc.

The diversity is created by refinement, copying phrases, sorting into alaphabetical order by meta search engines, etc. These visitors were brought to these pages by the search engines because they addressed the human audience and used natural, varied, english. This “long tail” of unique search terms cannot be addressed by mechanical key term stuffing.


December 08, 2006

WMCCM is on Google Local

Writing about web page http://www.google.com/local/add

I have just finished the process of registering WMCCM on Google Local.
(Follow the link to do likewise.)

You need to have a login, register your company or organisations details and then they send you a letter with a PIN number as the verification step.

I was pleasantly surprised to find 52 of WMCCM’s profiled companies has already got entries.
Join – Get Profiled here.
http://www.wmccm.co.uk/WMCCM/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=3&tabid=798

Some of the entries leave few or zero clues about what the company did. Always put keywords into titles including with your company name to create an effective online brand.

When Google has nothing else to differentiate these local entries it places them in order of the distance from the centre of the location. So check out all possible locations and the competition. In Brierley Hill a presswork company can be found in searches for Walsall and even Wolverhampton but would have no chance under Birmingham.

Yahoo! Local uses the classified entries from the BT phonebook. Again think about the title used in these entries.


November 20, 2006

To research the use of Google Adwords as a market intelligence gathering tool

Writing about web page https://adwords.google.com/select/Login

Pay-per-click, search targeted, advertising such as Google Adwords has become an effective, responsive and controllable route to market.

Some recent examples have seen Google Adwords where there was no product to sell. That is to guaranteed a loss on the exercise but the loss can be limited and can test ideas for a lot less than traditional market research methods.

You can test market a product that does not exist yet. If it existed would anyone be interested? Here a white paper can be presented with the solution. How many people click, download, and get in touch?

You can test different title ideas for a book. This is very analogous to the act of browsing a bookstore. Does the Adwords headline attract a click, would the reader look at the flysheet?

One idea you can test for a real business, Vintage Paints, would be test the demand for thirties to fifties cracked or marbled paint finishes. This company is developing these traditional materials but inproved to comply with 21st century environmental and safety standards.

The questions, above, are taken from one of my WMG MSc projects and will be tackled by Szu-Ting Tseng, a student from Taiwan.

The WMCCM students will all have access to project spaces on our portal, http://www.wmccm.co.uk/WMCCM/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=5&tabid=21 and this can be an opportunity for them to network with fellow students following related projects.


September 15, 2006

Location information on every page.

Writing about web page http://www.wmccm.co.uk/WMCCM/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=9&tabid=2916

For the last three years I have been advising our SMEs that they should add their location information onto every page of their websites.

Often engineering customers, searching for a supplier to solve an immediate problem, will find many results from China, India, Eastern Europe and the US. If they are looking for a local company they will either use the ‘pages from the UK’ button if they have the option or add some location information.

The .co.uk, .org.uk & .me.uk high level domains have taught British searchers to add UK. They might also add Midlands, West Midlands, Birmingham, etc.

Recent changes to the WMCCM site made it clear that our own site failed the location information test. The best, long term, solution will be to add this to the Site Banner default style but this will take time. (The bottom of the page on www.wmccm.co.uk , and other ASP.NET sites can be a an indeterminate place.)

I have tried three approaches on the public tabs.

A single line at the top. This is my preferred approach being closer to the eventual solution. This is seen on the Case Studies Tab at http://www.wmccm.co.uk/WMCCM/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=9&tabid=2916

Using a html panel on the left. See the Showcase Tab, http://www.wmccm.co.uk/WMCCM/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=7&tabid=3142

In a larger panel in the centre pane as in the Directory Tab, http://www.wmccm.co.uk/WMCCM/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=2&tabid=15

What do you think?


June 18, 2006

Users Search rather than Navigate

Writing about web page http://www.wmccm.co.uk

Jay McCarthy, VP of WebSideStory, first signalled a significant change in user behaviour last May at Search Engine Strategies 2005 Toronto announcing that Internet links and search referral have crossed over, no longer do people get to sites with links, but now they use search, its not a web anymore. This was confirmed by Neilson/NetRatings, 18th Jan 2006, from their November 2005 search results showing ebay, ebay.com, google, yahoo and yahoo.com in the top ten search terms for U.S. searchers. The reports claims that this indicates users now type into the search bar rather than use the address bar, bookmarks (Favorites folder) or directories. U.S. online searches grew 55% year on year to 5.1 billion searches in Dec 2005 according to Neilson/NetRatings, 9th Feb 2006. This was against an online population growth of only 3% showing a real change in user behaviour claims the same report.

Cahill of Hitwise confirmed the UK increase in searching was similar to the US pattern with March’s top 10 UK search terms being ebay, amazon, argos, bbc, easyjet, google earth, autotrader, ebay uk, cbbc, & bebo.

WMCCM, based at the University of Warwick here, has seen visitors grow 60% in the first quarter of 2006 with 87% of visitors referred by Google.


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