Archive for December 2010

How do college students use the web?

December 28th, 2010 — 9:38pm

Today’s college students are your customers of tomorrow (or maybe even today!).  How do they use the web?  Here are the results of a study from the foremost leader in web usability (Jakob Nielsen).

“Students are multitaskers who move through websites rapidly, often missing the item they come to find. They’re enraptured by social media but reserve it for private conversations and thus visit company sites from search engines.”

Read the full report here.

I was surprised to learn that students are less “techy” than I thought.  Because I work with the “guts” of the Internet, I guess I just assume that users know a little more than they actually do.

Comment » | Usability

End of Year Site housecleaning

December 28th, 2010 — 4:48pm
It’s the end of the year, and here are a few things you should do with your website.
  • Make a backup copy – ftp your files AND databases, or use cpanel to create a backup and save it.  Sure your hosting provider is making daily backups….sure they are.
  • Review your statistics for the year looking for trends, search keywords, etc.
  • Clean out any old files / data – be careful on this one.  Any files you know are old, move them to a “2010_old” folder, and remove the folder after a few months.
  • Update copyrights.
  • Passwords – when did you last change them?

Comment » | Web Maintenance

Watch those invasive robots

December 21st, 2010 — 2:51pm

I recently had a client who noticed some strange activity on their website.  It turns out google robots were hitting URL’s that were sent out in newsletter emails.  The URL’s were not published anywhere else.  Further research uncovered others complaining about similar activity.  So the bottom line is that google (and potentially other search engines) are looking for new pages to crawl by scanning emails, or recording your browsing history.  This means that if you are testing a new area of your website, you should lock it down to prevent the search engines from finding it.

Comment » | Web Maintenance

Google Tools you should be using

December 20th, 2010 — 11:46am
Here’s my list of “standard” Google tools you should be using on your site:

  • Webmaster Tools – see how Google sees your site; keywords, crawl errors, etc.
  • Analytics – if you don’t get web statistics, set up analytics and review it regularly.
  • Adwords – great low cost advertising and supplement to search engine traffic
  • Places – put your business on the map – literally.  Recently google has started listing “Google Places” businesses high up in any location based search.  So your SEO can benefit as well from having the listing.

Comment » | Web Tools

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