Studio 2 Online
    April 2008

I trust you managed to navigate April Fool's day safely! However, you might be forgiven in thinking that the furore over the Government scrapping the 10% tax rate has been an extended April Fool's joke, although with local elections just around the corner, messers Brown and Co might not see the funny side if the electorate give them the time honoured two finger salute as their current popularity ratings slide ever further south.  On the face of it there doesn't seem to be a lot to cheer about in the economy at the moment. However, as general statistics seem to indicate and many of our clients with e-commerce sites tell us, online trading seems to be particularly resilient against the current fall in consumer confidence, which stands at its lowest level since 1992. Perhaps with prices at the petrol and diesel pumps seemingly increasing by the day, people are turning more and more to researching and shopping online as a cheaper alternative to driving to the shops.  We have also seen a rise in the number of online traders becoming increasingly aware and sensitive about their search engine rankings as competition for the increase in online spending hots up. Whatever the reason, Studio 2 Online still goes from strength to strength in providing websites, e-commerce and search engine optimisation solutions that really work for our clients. Read on to catch up with the latest news and more! - Giles


 Contents
Newshound Nuggets - Vive le differance 2 
Last month we reported on the increase in mothers going on line in the US. It seems our comment about the UK following US online trends was prophetic, as our Newshound has discovered.  
01/04/2008 - eMarketer.com
 
UK women now take the lead online
  • 2008 will see females outnumber males in the UK Internet population.
  • 19.2 million females are expected to go online this year, up 6.7% over 2007.
  • This will represent 50.5% of total Internet users in 2008.  
  • The total UK Internet population is projected to grow 12.3% between 2008 and 2012, but the female online population is expected to grow at a faster pace of 14.6% over the same period.
  • By 2012 it is predicted that women aged 18 to 49 will account for 64.8% of the UK female Internet population, while the 55 plus 'silver surfers' will claim a 25% share.

 17/04/2008 - eMarketer.com

Searchers prefer organic results

  • Internet users are becoming more impatient if they cannot find what they want within the first few pages of organic search engine listings.
  • 68% of search engine users clicked on listings on the first page, up from 62% in 2006.
  • Only 8% of search engine users are prepared to click on results past the third page, down from 19% in 2002.
  • Spending on natural search engine optimisation accounts for 18% of all search engine advertising spend, and is expected to grow to a 23% share by 2011.
  • eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman notes, "SEO tends to be less expensive that paid search. Therefore, small increases in natural SEO spending can indicate outsize changes in marketing effectiveness relative to paid search."
  • Further, "Even though people are willing to click on relevant paid search ads, they prefer organic listings."

29/04/2008 - eMarketer.com

Consumers tend to trust other consumers

  • More and more consumers are turning to the Internet to conduct the critical first-step of researching products and services.
  • Consumers assign more credibility to the opinions of other consumers than to experts or marketing copy.
  • Online customer rating and review websites are becoming increasing popular as sources of information.
  • 60% feel a fellow consumer is a credible source of company or product information.
  • Only 12% of consumers feel a blogger is a credible source of information. 

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 SEO Teleseminar - next date 11th June
 
The proof of the pudding 
 
Following on from our Newshound's item on search engine users preferring natural (also known as organic) search engine listings, Studio 2 Online invite you to join us for our third series of Teleseminars on the increasingly important area of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This will be on Wednesday 11th June, beginning at 9.00am and lasting for one hour. 
 
The seminar will provide essential advice and guidance on many aspects of SEO and how this essential online tool can benefit your online business. Aimed in particular at businesses who have begun to use SEO, or are considering it for the first time, the seminar will tackle questions that are so often asked about how SEO works and how to avoid many of the pitfalls.
 
Yes, you may reasonably say, but does SEO work? Proof of the power of applying SEO to your website is provided by one of the attendees of our very first SEO Teleseminar, David Leedham director of Digieye, part of the VeriVide Group of Companies.
 
"Whilst I had some previous knowledge of SEO, the opportunity to listen in to competent and knowledgeable people, was the catalyst for action; all pages of the DigiEye website are now relevantly tagged with Keywords, Descriptions, Titles and Images. Subsequent visits from the Google spiders have already resulted in positive search results against some major organisations.
 
For a training or marketing spend, as value for money is concerned, the Studio 2 Online SEO Teleseminar with an expenditure of around £4.50, is without equal.
 
The simple tip, enabling me to read the keywords of our competitors, was worth the ‘entrance fee’ alone."
 
By his own admitance, David is no expert in SEO, but the tips he picked up from our SEO Teleseminar have already made a difference to his search engine rankings. Check his site out at www.digieye.co.uk
 
To participate in our next SEO Teleseminar simply register now and we will send you the dial in number and code to listen in. The only cost is your own telephone call, which for the full 60 minutes equates to only £4.77 inclusive of vat. Other previous participants have rated the event "Extreamly good value", "Highly professional", "Very informative" and "It answered so many of my questions about SEO." 
 
To register ring Andrew Kinnard on 0845 6187342 or email your name, company name, address and contact telephone number to andrew.kinnard@studio2online.co.uk Joining instructions will be emailed to you prior to the event.  

Website of the month
Ever needed a source for how to do, well almost anything?
Then check this out. 

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 Welcome to our new team members
  
Creative Team Leader - Parb Johal

As part of our ongoing expansion plans we offer a warm welcome to our newly appointed Creative Team Leader Parb Johal.

Parb will head up our design studio and comes to us with an impressive CV and wide ranging experience of many aspects of the design process, including online and offline design, marketing and brand creative. Qualifying from Manchester Met, Parb has spent time both running his own studio as a freelancer as well as for other design agencies in London, Brighton and Leicester. His work has been featured in several design periodicals including Design Week and Creative Review. In addition Parb's design work was featured in a Media Guardian Supplement where he was identified as an up and coming designer to watch.

Parb has worked with well known national and local brands, including Dell Computers, Volvo, HSBC, Waitrose, Stone's Deli and Mio Destino Lingerie (lucky guy!). In addition Parb provided marketing design work for the first retrospective exhibition for the world famous contemporary sculptor Sir Anthony Caro.

By his own admission Parb is "obsessed by design" but emphasises that despite this he really is human and likes nothing better than winding down with an ice cold beer and playing his acoustic guitar. A Derby lad born and bred, Parb reluctantly admits to following the Rams, but wisely quickly qualifies that by saying he is not an "avid supporter" (who is???)

We look forward to our clients benefiting from Parbs undoubted talents and wide ranging design experience.

New Business Development Executive - Sam Beavan

Having recently appointed Matt Strickland as our Client Account Manager, we are now
delighted to introduce Sam Beavan as our New Business Development Executive. 

Sam will be responsible for our new business aquisition activity and comes from a strong media selling and account management background dealing with clients such as The Football Association, Watford Football Club, CBS Outdoor, Nestle, L'Oreal, Proctor & Gamble and Diageo.

Having experienced time in the 'Big Smoke' of London, Sam has now returned to his roots in Market Harborough and intends to continue his indulgences in playing jazz piano (the beginnings of a Studio 2 Online band with Parb perhaps!), tennis and golf. Despite having worked closely with the F.A. Sam admits to not having any affiliation to a football club, just as well really as some of his choices locally would be Leicester City, Derby County, Birmingham City!

We look forward to Sam having a long (and profitable!) career with Studio 2 Online.

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Client Forum Update - Make your reservation now

The new Client Forum date is Thursday May 22nd.

The morning session will be held at the elegant Belmont House Hotel just off New Walk, with the afternoon session at our offices on King Street. The event will run from 8.30am until 3.30pm with a buffet served from 12.30am to 1.30pm. All day parking is provided at the hotel at no charge.

When booking please remember to indicate which two afternoon workshops you wish to attend. Our guest presenter at this event is David Penny, Director of  Business Intelligence and Strategy Ltd who offer solutions regarding the effective use and management of data for companies. 

If you want to book your place(s) now just ring Andy Kinnard on 0116 249 5314 or email to andrew.kinnard@studio2online.co.uk

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 Sacha's Web Tips

It seems there is a bit of a search engine optimisation (SEO) theme to this month's newsletter, so not being one to cock a leg at an opportunity ( I am a girl after all!) I thought I would howl on a bit about an area of SEO often overlooked, namely website backlinks, also known as incoming links.

Put simply, and I am a simple dog who thinks of food, food, sleep and food in that order, a backlink is a link that is received by a website from another website, web page or directory. This is a part of SEO not to be sniffed at, and take it from me I know a bit about sniffing! There is no 'silver bullet' to succeed in SEO, so backlinking is one of several areas to be considered. Search engines often use the number of backlinks that a website has as one of the factors for determining a website's search engine ranking. However, it is a fact that although all backlinks are useful, some backlinks are more useful than others.

Let me explain. There are various factors used in deciding the quality of a backlink. Unsurprisingly in the search engine world where page rank is king, the main factor is the page rank of the website providing the backlink. So a backlink from a highly ranked site is of better quality than from a poorly ranked site. The second most important factor is the subject content of the pages which are linked by the backlink. Thirdly is the relevance of the page text of the backlinking page to the theme of the website to where the link is pointing (your website). If you manage to have these three factors together then you will have a first rate backlink which will assist greatly in increasing the page rank of your website.

Of course the more good quality backlinks you can get the better, so it is worth putting in place a backlinking strategy to contact and agree mutual backlinks from and to other relevant websites to your own.

As ever, if you need some help or guidance just ring my mates at Studio 2 Online who are experienced in setting up effective search engine optimisation campaigns, or register for the next in the series of their acclaimed SEO Teleseminars on 11th June at 9.00am. A call to 0116 249 5314 will do the trick.

Now, where's Giles? Forget about backlinking, it's back scratching I'm interested in! 

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 New Website Launches

A warm welcome to the following as they join the Studio 2 Online family. Once again, these sites reflect how experienced the team at Studio 2 Online are in providing well designed and effective websites for clients from a variety of business sectors. Further examples can be found on our website at http://www.studio2online.co.uk/our-portfolio.php
 
HiLife Petfoods
 
The HiLife brand of dog and cat foods is owned by family-run Town & Country Petfoods, based in Melton Mowbray. HiLife is one of the UK's most popular petfood ranges and was established in 1974. Its high quality products are available in most leading supermarkets and pet stores as well as online. 
 
  
                  
 
APT Leicester Ltd
 
APT Leicester Ltd is a leading supplier of high precision turned componenets as well as intricate prismatic parts from raw materials as diverse as aluminium, brass, steel, plastics and high temperature alloys, all with an ultra close manufacturing tolerance.
 
APT has more than 50 years of success with clients across all sectors of manufacturing and engineering inluding aerospace, automotive, medical, motor sport and security sectors.
 
 
 

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  And Finally ........

Who are they?
 
They are one of the oldest professions. (No, not THAT one!)
We love them when they're on our side.
Hate them when they're not.
Distrust them at all times.
Always complain about their fees.
Love to tell jokes about them.
 
Yes, you've guessed it, we are talking about lawyers. So, at the risk of upsetting any who are reading this, here are a few (clean) lawyer jokes to add to any you may already know.
 
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After a long night at the pub two men are walking home and decide to take a shortcut through the grave yard. As they do so they begin reading the inscriptons on the grave stones and find one which reads "Here lies a lawyer and an honest man." One man turns to the other shocked, "Will you look at this. Space must be in short supply, two men buried in the same grave!"
 
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A man went to his lawyer and said, "I want to make a will but don't know exactly how to go about it."
 
His lawyer responds, "Don't worry, just leave it all to me."
 
The man looked upset and said, "I know your fees are expensive, but I was hoping there would be some money left for my wife and children too!"
 
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Noticing they were having engine trouble midflight, the pilot instructed the cabin crew to have the passengers fasten their seatbelts and prepare for an emergency landing. A few moments later, the pilot asks the cabin crew if everyone was buckled in and had assumed the emergency position.
 
"We're all set back here, Captain," the senior flight attendant replied. "Except for one passenger, a lawyer, who is still going around passing out his business cards."
 
 Ciao!
 
 
Registered Office: Studio 2 Online Ltd, The Crescent, King Street, Leicester, LE1 6RX
Registered in England & Wales No. 3894791 
Tel: 0116 275 8456    Fax: 0116 293 8090      Web: www.studio2online.co.uk