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21 Mar

Posted by rogerm

Looks like the privacy argument at Google just runs and runs as the company becomes bigger and bigger. They are going to release browser plug-ins for users to opt-out of being recorded in analytics in the next few weeks. We will wait to see details of this, but its likely that it will only apply to specific data such as ISP network location and the like, so for the main user base (SME's) it shouldn't be overly problematic. Could be something and nothing?

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18 Nov

Posted by rogerm

There is a newly passed amendment to the UK Companies Act means that any UK company has now, by law, to include the following information in their email footers (this means general email not e-mail marketing although best practice would suggest inclusion): Your company name Your registration number and registered address (if registered)* Your place of registration (e.g. England and Wales) *it is not sufficient to just include a vaild address, it must be your registered address.

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26 Oct

Posted by rogerm

This is an interesting development listed on the Google blog. Could it be that Google are going to show Twitter posts in natural search listings? If so it could make for a new battleground amongst search marketers... Check it out on the Google Blog

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15 Oct

Posted by rogerm

It's interesting how a 'credit crunch' or 'recession' in the economy affects the way companies do business. One frustrating symptom was the increased amount of cold calling that went on during Q2 and 3 as sales managers tried to achieve targets. What a pain, and how frustrating for the poor people who had to perform it. Then there was the DIY Digital marketing wave... A huge increase in badly put together, poorly executed email campaigns. the SaaS Email providers made some money, but the upshot is that a lot of companies became quickly dissillusioned with the concept and struck it off the list of marketing tactics. And of course, the saviour of the credit crunch, Google Adwords. Free money off vouchers have been flying around in virtually every publication that hits the d...

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22 Sep

Posted by airtimeandy

As an agency we receive a lot of speculative B2B email but the one below takes the biscuit. The warning. Always check your data lists before sending as you can do yourself a lot of harm. As these guys have done. We won't be recommending them to any of our clients! [caption id="attachment_349" align="aligncenter" width="430"] How to annoy your prospects with incorrect targeting. They actually sent this out to agencies![/caption]

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11 Sep

Posted by rogerm

Interesting to see that Google have modified their search form enlarging the box and the font to about 130% of the original size. At first glance it looks a bit odd if you are a regular user, and you instincively check to see if your browser has inadvertantly been set to a higher percentage view as everything below it remains as it was. However, I guess it will be a usability and accessibility plus and help to reduce the number of typos, or will it? http://www.google.com

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08 Jul

Posted by rogerm

Five pupils from Year 6 at Woodland View School in Northampton helped Star Digital to design flyers to promote the Grange Park Business Club. They had all entered a competition to promote the business club and had been selected by the steering committee to attend a design session at STAR Digital's Castle Ashby studios. They worked with Andrew Matthews, one of our designers to work up the designs which will be presented to the school and the Business Club as brand boards. Everyone had fun watching Andrew working in Photoshop and Illustrator, and the children didn't leave too many crumbs after Andrea gave them all cakes from the Buttery! [caption id="attachment_338" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Pupils from Year 6 at Woodland View with their design.[/caption]

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16 Jun

Posted by rogerm

Now this couldn't be easier. Use the pingback URL to make sure your sitemap.xml file is added to their directory. http://www.bing.com/webmaster/ping.aspx?siteMap=[your_sitemap_url_here] If successful you'll get the following message in your browser window Thanks for submitting your sitemap. There you go, nice and easy!

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11 Jun

Posted by airtimeandy

We had a prospect enquire about our small business web design service today, and as we were exchanging emails concerning his requirements he mentioned that a lot of companies had told him they would get him to show on the first page of Google as part of the package. This kind of thing makes us cross, as we work hard to build everything to be as compliant as is practically possible and we use best practice SEO techniques during the build process. We know that for a new build to get indexed can take months, even with a sitemap.xml file and a robots.txt file in place. These companies that make promises such as this need to be more transparent about what it is they are actually offering. To be number one in say the search term plumbers is going to be impossible without a huge amoun...

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02 Jun

Posted by rogerm

Design and build requirements It goes without saying that you need to be able to design and construct quality email in the first place, and that is hurdle number one for a lot of smaller companies using self service email packages - they don't even get into the inbox. Well crafted creative does cut through, and when combined with a policy of testing in different browsers, and scrutinising the soft bounce statistics we can build a reasonably clear picture of deliverability. We can even do on the fly split testing of creative and subject lines. Good Data in Good Data out But you should not overlook the importance of data. You get out what you put in, and with email marketing you would be well advised to have not just a name and email address but also a telephone number, mailin...

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31 May

Posted by rogerm

We've been building a lot of client web sites recently and its prompted me to write this post to give some general advice as to what you should be thinking about before you start talking to an agency. As the downturn kicks in we've had a number of enquiries where people have baulked at the cost of bespoke web design and build, comparing our prices with others, and I think its important that we make sure prospective clients look at things on a level playing field and understand what they will actually get for their money. 1. Filter out the part time and bedroom businesses There are lots of agencies around that offer ridiculously low prices for so called professional web design. Think about how much you would expect to charge a client for the build of something like a website,...

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30 May

Posted by airtimeandy

Star Digital was recently engaged to build the Ethical Edge Blog for an emerging CSR consultancy based in Beijing in China. www.ethicaledge.info It was very interesting to engage with this client, as they taught us about how the Chinese view media as a whole, and how the population has developed a cautious approach to above the line traditional advertising methods. We discovered that due to the different cultural make up in China they have developed large extended family and friend social networks, where the average person has a social circle upwards of five times that of the average westerner. No wonder then that the internet has become a favoured form of communication in China, and that digital mrketing techniques based on trust, reviews and social networking appear to be growi...

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