Posted by: blueleafgraphics | August 28, 2008

Microsoft does it again!

Okay, so today I get an email from Microsoft letting me know that they are coming out with yet another version of Internet Explorer – #8. Not only did they tell me they were coming out with another one, they also told explained that I am to go through all of my clients sites and:

“Update your site and your customers’ sites by using the Internet Explorer 7 compatibility tag. Follow the step-by-step instructions in the compatibility knowledge base article.”

“Advise your customers of this issue and the Internet Explorer 7 compatibility tag solution.”

Because:

“Upon initial release, browsing in default Internet Explorer 8 Standards mode may cause content written for previous versions of Internet Explorer to display differently than intended. To enable existing content to display as expected, Microsoft is providing a compatibility tag that you can add to sites that might be affected. This tag instructs Internet Explorer 8 to display site content as if it were in Internet Explorer 7. This option helps ensure that existing content will continue to display seamlessly in Internet Explorer 8 without requiring any additional code changes.”

So basically Microsoft is falling short once again in the web design world and we all have to pay for it. I don’t understand why they just can’t get it right. What is so difficult about designing a browser that is compatible with todays design standards?

The really disappointing factor for me is, I am, like every other web designer out there, going to have to contact all my clients, let them know of Microsoft’s big mess up, and go through their sites to make sure that they are compatible with this new browser.

Unfortunately, we all know, MS will make this browser a mandatory security release for windows update and unsuspecting customers will all of a sudden be viewing the web through a browser that does show sites like they have been designed – all because someone in R&D got lazy.

I personally feel that my clients should send the bill to Microsoft and Microsoft should not release the browser until they have fixed the issue!!!!

Microsoft – once again you disappoint me, my customers and the rest of the web design world.

Shame on You!!!!!!!!!!!

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Posted by: blueleafgraphics | August 28, 2008

Does Tons of Visitors really mean Tons of Sales??

This was originally posted by Calvin Cox

What’s The Point Of Getting 10,000 New Visitors To Your Website When Your Conversion Rate Sucks!

His post was geared towards web designers and marketing their own services. I have borrowed his wonderful words as they are true words of wisdom in todays age about internet marketing and put them in the context of business owners in general. Thanks Calvin – as always!!

Does Tons of Visitors really mean Tons of Sales??

We are so pleased when we see numbers like 5,000, 10,000 visitors per month to our websites, and for others even more. But the real question is how many of those visitors are turning into customers.

Chances are good that they aren’t, statistically anyway. Shop.org reported that an average retail website conversion rate is around 1.8 percent(%), some are even quoting numbers in the 0.1 % conversion rate range. This means if you’re getting 1000 visitors to your website every month, chances are good that you’re probably only receiving one(1) sales per month – 12 sales per year if you’re lucky. Not very good numbers unless you’re selling million dollar homes (and I haven’t seen many designers selling million dollar homes lately) So I ask you- Is how many monthly visitors to your website really your company’s goal?

Probably not. Your company’s goal is more likely sales, annual revenues, number of paying customers, Dollars, Pounds, yens, Euros, Rupees, Rubles, The Benjamins, Cream… and any other names we can come up with to describe money. So the real question should be: How do we get our conversion rates up? And the short answer is research.

What’s great about the research now though, is that it’s more accessible than ever before primarily due to social media and inbound marketing techniques. Your demographics- your customers and clients are communicating with you every minute of every day. It’s like that little voice in your head that won’t shut up. You’re getting live unfiltered “face time” with your customers though social media avenues like Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon , LinkedIn and the Blogosphere.

THE SOCIAL MEDIA & LEAD GENERATION – PERFECT TOGETHER

With social media your leads no longer have to only come from your website. They can come from your Facebook business page or group [setting up your company profile in which your company can receive fans (another word for leads) or rather people that are interested in your product or service], your LinkedIn professional group [creating a business group related to your core business can invite professionals, customers and clients alike to join – giving you the opportunity to network and grow your business – another way to cultivate your leads] , your personal and business Twitter profile [Great for meeting new clients, customers in your industry – yet even more leads] , your Ning social network or group and many other social networking sites on the web. Now the difference between the contacts you make using social networking are that they are more “prep” or qualified leads for your services than visitors that end up on your website by a random combination of keywords in Google. Now that we have better leads in our pipeline, it’s time to convert them to customers.

SITE NAVIGATION TO THE RESCUE

Your website or page navigation needs to be paid very close attention to. Visitors are first looking for information before your product or service. Once you’ve provide the right information to them , its only then that you can move to the next step in the process: Your website should welcome your visitors, ask them what they are looking for (providing options), direct them to the answers or information they requested, and only then should you suggest a product or service that will help them solve their problems.

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR TARGET MARKET CAN ONLY INCREASE YOUR CONVERSION RATES

Take the time to really understand the culture of your customer demographics and mimic that language on your website. We learned this in psychology 101, mimic the people you meet and they become your friends or customers or clients. The only difference is now you’re doing it on the web. “Your virtual world is no different than your “real world”. A good practice is to visit your website as a customer every day: Ask yourself if you would subscribe or buy or sign up for your product or service your website is offering. Don’t be fooled, the” build it and they will come” strategy is long gone; you have to go get them and bring them back… kicking and screaming. 🙂

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