Archive for March, 2008

Your Web Strategy & Search Engine Optimisation

Monday, March 31st, 2008

We’ve had a lot of questions from new and existing customers recently about web strategy, particularly about Google and getting higher up the search results.

Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) forms a big part of web strategy. It is a collection of methods we use to optimise your website for the search engines – with the intended consequence being that they will find your website better, and like your site better, and establish a “virtual relationship” with your site which gives you preferential treatment which you can’t just buy from them.

SEO is one of the technical sides of web strategy, it is a bit of a science and is designed to help contribute towards achieving your business goals. One of the main intentions is to increase the numbers of visitors to your website.

Why do I need more visitors to my website?

Why you need more visitors is really about a numbers game. The more people you have visiting your website, the more interest is generated online about your website, the more activity is on your website, and other parts of the internet pick up on that in various ways and this helps to push up your ranking.

When you go to a restaurant, do you go to the restaurant that is reasonably full, or the one next door serving the same food but virtually empty with a grumpy looking waitperson staring out the window?

Just like that restaurant activity leads to more new business, so too does your web strategy need to be designed to lead to more business for you. And this can be especially true whether you have 5 visits per day to your website, or 5,000.

Telecom Xtra Blocks Out Competitors

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

It seems as though Telecom Xtra has made another, more significant than normal anti-competitive action by requiring all its customers to record into the Yahoo! Xtra e-mail system any e-mail addresses they use for their business.

So, if you have a professional e-mail address for your business, which is a service not provided by Xtra, you must now log all these e-mail addresses into Xtra’s system.

Under the guise of “Online Identity Theft Protection” or some such thing, Xtra has made it a requirement that in order to send e-mails from your business e-mail account, if your internet connection has been provided by Xtra you must log any e-mail addresses you intend to use, with the Xtra service.

At the same time, Xtra has announced plans for a stronger push into the business market, offering customers the ability to do all their business e-mail hosting and web hosting through Xtra.

Now, as Xtra will now know all e-mail addresses for all their customers, they can easily promote to them the “benefits” of changing their web hosting and e-mail services to Xtra.

Xtra now blocks, as standard, 50% of our services as a web and e-mail hosting services provider. Our customers must send all e-mails through the Xtra service, rather than our service. When a problem occurs with sending e-mail, our customers should be able to call us to resolve this. Rather, we have to send them on to the Xtra “Help”-desk, in order to get the issue resolved. Their enquiries are frequently sent overseas to people who have not been trained correctly, therefore the issue is sent back to us to resolve – which we can’t resolve as it’s not our service.

Needless to say, Xtra is limiting what its customers can do and restricting their ability to easily use a provider other than Xtra for their e-mail services.

In the interests of our customers, our interests, and the interests of other providers in the marketplace, we have lodged a formal complaint with the Commerce Commission in regards to what we see as being anti-competitive behaviour by Telecom in this matter. Watch this space for some action over this monopolistic behaviour in the future.