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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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20 May

Posted by rogerm

Fellows & Sons Auctioneers in Birmingham have been a client with STAR Digital for 3 years, and we've helped them to make the transition from a largely offline business to one of the most forward thinking online companies in their vertical. They now use search and email effectively for acquisition and retention, and have recently got involved in using social media to promote and provoke discussion around their fine watch sales. So, it came as no surprise when Stephen Whittaker, managing partner, and the man with the belief and drive to push the business forwards recently asked us to get the site up and running in some European languages. Our recommendation was for cut down information pages, and that's exactly what we've done. French, Spanish, Italian and Russian pages have ...

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20 May

Posted by rogerm

Roger and James met with Paul Hutchings MD of Languageflow on Tuesday to discuss an exciting new marketing product. The meeting took place at Home House in London and looks like its going to result in a brand new product for corporates and agencies looking to produce multilingual marketing materials. Watch this space! In addition, LanguageFlow will feature heavily in the July edition of Direct Selling News as they look to consolidate their reputation in supply of fast, quality language typesetting to the direct selling market, with clients like Herbalife, Nikken and Nu-Skin using their technologies. (pictured, James left, Paul Hutchings, LanguageFlow, right)

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20 May

Posted by rogerm

[caption id="attachment_284" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Luke Matthews - Graphic Designer[/caption] Luke has joined the design team at STAR Digital to work with us during a busy period as we prepare new marketing materials for some of our latest client wins.

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15 May

Posted by rogerm

[caption id="attachment_273" align="aligncenter" width="580"] The STAR Digital team 2009. From L to R, Andrea, Simon, James, Andy, Roger, and Paul Green from Publicity Heaven[/caption] Now apart from the Karts being twin engined and going pretty quickly, the course is fairly challenging as well. So a few laps is fun, but over 100 is damn hard work! Our normal 'Stig' Paul Hutchings from Languageflow was moving house this year so couldn't make it, but his seat was more than filled by our very own James Bache who we have crowned 'New Stig' as he set our lap record at 49.39 seconds, only about 1 second off the leaders, who had as couple of professional driver in their team.... [caption id="attachment_276" align="aligncenter" width="300"] James looking somewhat pensive p...

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04 May

Posted by rogerm

We recently attended the Internet World show in London and found it very interesting to note that a number of companies are developing business models by partnering with open source technologies and then selling on the expert services of design and build within them. We've seen this over the years with the ubiquitous and brilliant Word Press that is used for this Blog, and the number of excellent plug-ins and community support available make it an obvious choice. But as a digital marketing agency, typically we've had to offer robust licensed solutions for clients, and to that end we've been reselling technologies such as Activedition for CMS and ePages for eCommerce. The catch for clients in this climate is that they come at a price, a typical license costing thousands before you've e...

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01 May

Posted by rogerm

[caption id="attachment_255" align="aligncenter" width="580"] The House at Castle Ashby - May 2009 (c)R. Martin[/caption] I just had to out and take some snaps, and found a beautiful lake in front of the house, we love working here!

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