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09 Mar

Posted by Roger Martin

The Importance of landing pages: You’ve painstakingly built your paid advertising campaign so it matches your website’s content. You’ve researched all your keywords including keywords across your ad copy. You’ve even set bids to ensure your perfectly worded ads can appear at the top of the results pages. You even know the exact audience you are targeting and the type of information they are looking for. You’ve spent the time constructing a campaign that you hope is going to drive conversions on your website. A website that has had the same level of detailed attention as your brand-new advertising campaign. But, you’ve started the campaign and click costs and ad positions aren’t as good as they could be. The key could be your use of Landing pages to increase your Adwo...

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08 Mar

Posted by Roger Martin

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we decided to profile the amazing women that work here at Star Digital.   Andrea Director For the past 11 years I have been running Star Digital with my husband Roger. Running a SME has not been easy, but the lessons it has taught me about business and people have been invaluable. I have learnt to identify times when I need to use my head over my heart, but just as crucially when to ‘follow my gut feeling’. My family mean everything to me. I have three children who do a great job in keeping me motivated but grounded. I can only hope that Roger and I have provided them with solid morals, a good work ethic and the tools to enjoy whatever route they take through life. I never underestimate the power of a kind act, and try to suppor...

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06 Mar

Posted by Roger Martin

Magento 2 training for free has been announced by the Magento U team to help ease the transition from Magento 1 to the new Magento 2 platform for both merchants and developers Four courses have been made available on Magento U – Fundamentals of Magento 2, Core Principles of Magento 2, Managing your Magento Store and Responsive Web Design (RWD) in Magento 2. The courses are all based on Magento Community Edition v2.1.0, which as we discussed in our Magento 2 Reflections blog post, was not the most stable platform. Version updates since the launch of the training could mean some of the elements talked about in the courses may have changed slightly. Those interested in these courses best hurry though, as the courses are only available free of charge until the 31st March. This o...

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06 Mar

Posted by Roger Martin

Magento 2 development began in earnest back in the Spring of 2016, as our first Magento 2 client was commissioned, ExpressCo Direct based here in Northampton – with 9 storefronts to build out on a single Magento 2 plarform. After monitoring the feedback from other developers and their early experiences of Magento 2 development, we were ready for a learning curve. And it proved to be a steep one! Magento 2 - Plagued by initial bug ridden release We got to work using version 2.0.3 on the first install. Coupled with our lack of experience, which was the case for every developer at the time, it was an experience to say the least! This version was heavily bug laden and not production ready. The Magento development team had clearly released it too early and were hoping that the Magento...

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03 Mar

Posted by Roger Martin

These are the reflections and experiences on the Magento 2 ecommerce product to date, complied in March 2017 based on our experiences as a long time Magento developer agency and solutions partner. Its not all negative and we are hoping for happier times ahead, but we think its important that our experiences are put on record for the avoidance of doubt for our existing clients and future prospects.   Magento 2 - Launch aftermath 18 months after the launch of Magento 2 we are in March 2017 and after the glitzy go to market launch of Magento 2 (M2), it is fair to say that it was all sizzle and no sausage! Star Digital, a veteran of many Magento ecommerce builds in both Community and Enterprise versions, got fully behind the M2 platform launch, attending all of the partner ...

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17 Nov

Posted by Roger Martin

It’s been a long wait, announced as far back as 2010, and released in a usable format early in 2015. If you talk to our certified developers they're glad that the pre- release window has given them time to get to grips with the new platform! It’s been buggy, and a reasonable learning curve, but the team at Star Digital have successfully completed the Magento 2 Trained Solution Partner programme and have got the recognition badge. Our strategic team made sure that the developers and solution specialists were prepared for this rollout, and anticipate that there will be a lot of demand for the new platform with existing clients looking to upgrade, and new clients migrating from other platforms or entering the commerce market for the first time. With our track record of B2B c...

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07 Oct

Posted by Roger Martin

Star Digital have been a Silverpop Sure Agency for a good few years now, we backed the technology because of the vision for one to one communications and a move towards behavioral marketing and automation. The platform has served our clients well, and it only got better when we heard that IBM, the Big Blue, inventors of Watson the cognitive computing architecture, had acquired Silverpop as part of its mission to further enhance its digital marketing intelligence portfolio. Amplify, the annual event held by the Silverpop team in London was a different event this year. With several tracks per session and a big presence from IBM you could feel that the platform was already developing rapidly. There was a genuine excitement from the team and attendees. I wanted to pull out some of ...

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07 Oct

Posted by Roger Martin

As I write this at Star Digital HQ in October 2015 we’ve been developing web sites for clients using the Magento platform for 7 years now. So are we getting the 7 year itch? In that time we’ve seen the product grow from a virtual beta to one of the most in demand ecommerce solutions for mid size B2B and B2C retailers on the planet. It hasn’t come without its own set of problems. The key issues and learning we have had over the years have been as follows; •    Quality of hosting •    Understanding how to optimize properly •    The variability of quality in the extensions market •    The importance of staff training •    The importance of creating a full functional specification •    Managing customer UAT expectations •    Staying on...

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30 Jul

Posted by Leanne Town

A question that we get asked regularly by our clients when building an ecommerce website is whether they should use PayPal or direct card processing for their online payment processing. The simple answer we like to give is both! But for smaller companies, and those just breaking into ecommerce for the first time we always ask them to look at the advantages PayPal offers. When thinking about online shopping it is important to remember why people actually shop online. It is amazing how far online shopping has come; it is now a part of every-day life compared to when it was first available. The main advantages of online shopping are convenience and price; and now with the advent of mobile ecommerce it’s becoming uber-convenient! So where does PayPal fit into this scenario then? ...

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31 Mar

Posted by Leanne Town

Is your website mobile friendly yet? Do most visitors to your website visit via their smartphone or tablet? Do you even know? Its absolutely vital that if you haven’t already, that you install Google Analytics onto your web site. It’s really easy to do, just go to www.google.com/analytics and set up an account using your standard Google credentials. You then need to obtain a snippet of code and add it to the <head> area of your web site. If you are using a CMS or Ecommerce package this is generally done via your admin control panel. For static sites and campaign sites you may need to ask your web developers for assistance. Once you have it up and running just go to the Audience> Mobile> Overview section and you should see a screen similar to that shown bel...

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30 Mar

Posted by Leanne Town

With 89% of consumers using search engines to find information on products or services before making a purchase and 86% using search engines to find out information about local businesses it is not surprising that companies practising Digital Marketing use Google Adwords at some point. But are they using them correctly? A properly set up Google Adwords account ensures that your business is clearly visible to Google users in the process of searching for a product or service that you have defined in your account. You only pay if the user clicks on your ad. When Adwords is configured correctly, it can be a really powerful marketing tool for your business, delivering unparalleled lead generation and return on investment. However, when rushed, ignored and left too broadly defined...

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24 Feb

Posted by Leanne Town

Marketing Everybody in business will have their own views on how marketing should be done and which are the best practices to follow. However, all companies should take on an individual approach; what is best for one company may be inappropriate for another. You need to cater for the needs of your business and provide a marketing solution and strategy that is best for you. One of the most important factors to consider in any digital marketing programme is measurement and return on investment. Identify and inform your audience Its vital that you identify whom your audience is, how they interact with brands such as yours, and what they need to know. Some research is needed, and the internet is a great place to start. Perform some competitive benchmarking by identifying compet...

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