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Digital Love

Digital Love

The trouble with being dead busy and heads-down-cracking-on is you get a bit inward-facing... which is great for the here and now, but means you can lose sight a bit of what's happening out there in the big wide world of Web. So yesterday was a great opportunity for me to raise my head up, and spend the day at a conference in Bristol City Centre - On The Edge Digital. It was a really inspiring event - the speakers covered a range of topics, some of which we know, some we think we know and some we can learn a lot from!

The subjects included:

  • Content - matching it to your sales process, and your target audience
  • Localised SEO (search Engine Optimisation) and Searches - what does it mean to be Local?
  • Email Marketing - some easy methods to try to get improved results
  • PPC (Pay Per Click) - quick wins and Google's new Enhanced campaigns
  • Social Media - strategy, common mistakes and what channels to use
  • RWD (Responsive Web Design) - understanding more about why, and when to make the change to give the best user experience
  • Social Networking for B2B - making it the right fit; and fitting it in!

And I do love the Digital World. It's inspiring and jaw-dropping and infuriating and exciting and keeps on changing ALL THE TIME. I love learning about latest developments and trends and news and views, forming opinions, putting them into practice, and then applying new developments and trends and news and views to make ongoing improvements... and so it goes on.

If you think it's about time to review your website or digital marketing strategy, please do get in touch. There's some exciting new developments happening right now, and it's all fresh in my mind - so let's have a chat and see what we can do to get you a bit of Digital Love too :-)




The future of online in mobile and TV?

The future of online in mobile and TV?

I like most people have read the countless amounts of predictions for 2012, most, if not all, mention how mobile is going to make a large impact on the future of online. I wrote a blog article last year saying that sites should consider mobile to complement desktop development. This year companies will see that they need to evolve their web presence to incorporate mobile or be missed by a large number of visitors. Visitors will spend less time, visit fewer pages and bounce more from sites they cannot view through mobile devices.

Smartphone and iPhone use in the UK is growing at a huge rate almost on a daily basis – I saw a figure this week that over 6m iOS devices were registered on Christmas Day, imagine the figure for Android devices!

People are also coming round to the idea of tablets; many were sceptical if there was a marketplace for such a device. I was one of these…until I got my iPad. I hardly use my laptop now.

Another big change, maybe not to web development, but to the way people interact with online is going to be smart TV’s. They’ve been around for a while, but this year it’s going to enter the mainstream. With the Olympics, Euro 2012 and the Diamond Jubilee retailers are going to be slashing prices and pushing us all to buy that new 50” TV. There have been some interesting developments this week from the CES conference...talk of a Google TV, Apple TV set and an Angry Birds app! I have a TiVo box from Virgin and I can now watch YouTube videos, catch up on missed programs or radio shows through the iPlayer, I could even view photos on Facebook or post updates to Twitter – all through my TV.

Online is being integrated into our lives on a daily basis and 2012 will bring with it many changes – some of which could be game changers whether we are users, web developers or designers……interesting times ahead for us all!

Created on Wednesday January 11 2012 10:37 AM


Tags: mobile-internet online-tv internet digital 2012 video web iphone ipad apps smartphones


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What is Digital Strategy and how does it work?

What is Digital Strategy and how does it work?

Digital strategy is something which every company should be considering, but what is a digital strategy and how do you go about developing one?  

According to Wikipedia a digital strategy is……'the process of specifying an organisation's vision, goals, opportunities and initiatives in order to maximize the business benefits digital investments and efforts provide to the organisation.'

At Focus we have worked on a large number of digital strategies for our clients as well as our own. If we had to explain a digital strategy to a client we would say that it is the initial and ongoing development of processes that will achieve set goals and aims using digital technologies and channels.

We’ve put together our thoughts on the process involved in developing a digital strategy.

The initial thoughts that need to take place when developing a digital strategy is reviewing your current processes and procedures, digital channels currently utilised and results of these activities over a period. Of course you may not currently be undertaking any at the moment. 

Once you looked at how you’ve done things – it’s now time to look ahead. Working out a list of goals that you aim to achieve is key part to the process of developing a digital strategy. This may include some of your current business objectives.

It’s then all about understanding how to achieve these objectives, is it through SEO, social media, development of your website? Once you’ve understood what is it you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it – it’s about the process and procedures to achieve your desired objectives. Another key element to remember is measurement – you’ll want to measure your return on investment.

Once you’ve spent time implementing these ideas into practice you’ll need to continually evaluate the results and ensure you evolve your strategy over time – we here at Focus love the phrase ‘continuous improvement’. It a methodology which is extremely important in the world of digital. 

Created on Tuesday November 22 2011 12:56 PM


Tags: website web-development seo social-networking focus digital digitalmarketing


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The humble beginning of the world wide web

The humble beginning of the world wide web

It's 20 years since the web became a publicly available service on the internet. So I thought it would be interesting to take a look into the humble beginnings of a service which now has over 200 million websites, over 1 trillion unique URLS and 1.6 billion users.

The web was created by the british engineer and computer scientist Tim Berner-Lee in the late 80s early 90s whilst working at CERN in Geneva. Believe it or not this was the first ever web site published by Berner-Lee in 1991 and almost a year later this was the first photo ever published online to advertise the CERN music club.

At the beginning the web was slow to catch on with only scientists publishing pages, in 1993 there were only 130 websites. Amusingly one of the first uses Cambridge University scientists found for the incredible tool they now had at their disposal was to set up a video capture board that took a picture of their coffee pot in the kitchen every second, so they would know if it was worth leaving their labs and walking down 3 flights of stairs for a break. But that did lead to the birth of the web cam, so maybe we should be grateful! 

We've all recently lived through the next evolution of the web - the use of broadband and high speed internet connections. Five years ago only 7% of us had a broadband connection now that is 95.1%, which means more multimedia content has been able to take off - hence YouTube's recent spike in popularity in the last 5 years. 

And what about the future of the web? Well we'll have to wait and see, but at the moment there are still 9 million people in the UK alone who've never used the web. Race Online 2012 and BBC Connect are working to try to change that but we can all help to share the amazing resource Tim Berner-Lee created so that it can keep getting bigger and better!

 

Created on Wednesday June 01 2011 04:19 PM


Tags: website digital uk


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Royal wedding or digital death?

Royal wedding or digital death?

I know, I know, I know. Not a very original theme for a blog article. Here at Focus Towers it feels like everyone's going unreasonably nuts for the forthcoming nuptials.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to bits about the extra bank holiday, but that's about as far as it goes.

2 billion people across the globe will tune in in some way to watch the ceremony, it's reckoned, making it possibly the biggest media event in history. 

Googling anything to do with weddings that day? Good luck! You're not likely to get anything useful. Top search terms are reckoned to be 'royal wedding stream online' and variations around that theme.

What's really striking though is that this is the first truly digital event of its kind. Charles and Di in '83 may have attracted some attention, but this time, it'll be more a case of trying to escape it! 

Of the 2 billion (!) people estimated to be watching across the globe, an estimated 400 MILLION will stream the content online. 400 million. That's about six times the population of the UK, kids.

The royal family may have managed to turn down B Sky B's request to film the event in 3D (I kid you not), but they can't stop the hoards all trying to get their little bit of the magic digitally. Will the internet fall over? Who knows? Good luck servers across the globe!

I won't be watching online. I won't be watching on TV. I'll be on a beach on the south coast somewhere hopefully. But the thing is, I'll have my iPhone with me for sure. And Twitter. And Facebook. And the Royal Wedding digitally, in the palm of my hand. Looks like I might be getting involved, after all...




'Listening' to the web with Addictomatic

'Listening' to the web with Addictomatic

Everybody knows the value of social networking these days, right? Any commercial organisation worth its salt will have a social media strategy in place, and be falling over themselves to implement and update it. (There's nothing sadder than a neglected Twitter feed or blog).

But how do you keep track of all your followers? How can you measure the effect - the buzz - created by all your hard efforts and updates? Simple. Addictomatic.

Branded with the strapline 'inhale the web', Addictomatic does just that. Whether for ego searches or general interest, Addictomatic 'listens' to the web, seeking out your search term, and delivers you real time results from Twitter, blog posts, YouTube and news articles. You're left with a snapshot profile of exactly what the web thinks of any given topic at any given time.

Now Addictomatic is not the only provider to offer this service. Google has recently launched its real time search, and while it is largely limited to search results returned from news sites currently, in theory it has the ability to monitor social networking sites too.

The beauty of Addictomatic is that you can personalise your page, moving, editing and deleting areas as necessary. Save it to your favourites and there you have it - a real time snapshot of what everyone on the web has to say about any given topic. With the season of Easter upon us, I searched for 'master chocolatiers' Lindt, and came up with all sorts, from recommended outlets to stories of those who'd been 'saved' by the chocolate.

Fun stuff, if a little addictive!




A digital budget?

A digital budget?

With the announcement of the launch of the Institute of Web Science (headed up by king of the internet himself - Tim Berners-Lee) and confirmation of the 50p 'Broadband Tax', many are hailing Alistair Darling's latest effort as a truly digitally minded budget.

Not that this is without its controversies - the desire to roll out 'superfast' broadband across 90% of the UK by 2017 may be a noble one, but not everyone wants to pay the 50p per month it's going to cost them to do it.

I guess the real question is whether broadband's a luxury or a utility? We think nothing of paying taxes to maintain our gas pipes - is there a great deal of difference between these and fibre optic cables? I'm not so sure.

The success of the Institute of Web Science remains to be seen, but with a promise to invest £30 million in it, you'd hope it would be worthwhile! It's going to be a collaborative project, based out of Oxford & Southampton Universities, designed to 'bridge the gap between businesses and commercialise web technologies' and put the UK at the forefront of the digital revolution.

It's a bold mission statement, but having Berners-Lee at the helm can only help!

 

Created on Thursday March 25 2010 11:57 AM


Tags: website budget-2008 investment broadband budget digital webscience berners-lee


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