Saturday, May 28, 2011

Website Performance Optimization

Web optimization is a vital part of web development and maintenance but also something often overlooked by webmasters. Just think of the money you can save, and how it can potentially help increase your readership and traffic when they are properly done.

Users expect your website to be fast. They are more likely to buy or explore your products and services when you meet their performance expectations. Faster websites have happier, more engaged and more numerous users, and generate more revenue than slower sites. Better web performance reduces your bounce rates and increases the number of pages viewed per visit. Additionally, site speed is a factor in Google’s ranking of your site in its search results.

If you have a slow website, much of the time and money you spend getting people to visit it is being wasted. For example, Amazon.com revealed that for every 100ms (just a tenth of a second) delay in page load time, they experienced a 1% drop in revenue!

In the following conference you can find ideas on how to optimize the performance of your website:



Some tools that can help in the optimization of your website:

This tool sets the benchmark in finding many of your website speed problems. All issues are clearly detailed and it’s scoring system allows you to assess the impact of changes quickly. It’s available as browser plugins and through an version of the tool.
Visit the tool >>

This handy tool calculates page size, composition, and download time. The script calculates the size of individual elements and sums up each type of web page component. Based on these page characteristics the script then offers advice on how to improve page load time. It lacks of the sizzle of newer tools, but provides a simple no nonsense insight into your websites performance.
Visit the tool >>

One of the newer tools on the market, Yottaa offers a range of data points on your sites performance including page speed, its global reachability, how well optimized it is and how easily a browser can render its contents. The best part is they offer an ongoing monitoring service so you can analyse your performance over time.
Visit the tool >>

Friday, May 27, 2011

Social Media Demographics

Some more statistics on type of people using Social Media sites, specially Facebook and Twitter, as well as more active countries:




1) Facebook.com average user figures and facts:
  • Average user has 130 friends on the site
  • Average user sends 8 friend requests per month
  • Average user spends an average 15 hours and 33 minutes on Facebook per month
  • Average user visits the site 40 times per month
  • Average user spends an 23 minutes (23:20 to be precise) on each visit
  • Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
  • Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
  • 200 million people access Facebook via a mobile device each day
  • More than 30 billion pieces of content are shared each day
  • Users than access Facebook on mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook compared to non-mobile users
  • Facebook generates a staggering 770 billion page views per month

2) Breakdown by country: More than 70% of Facebook users come from outside the United States

Global User Population: 629,982,480

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3) Global User Demographics: The global breakdown of users on Facebook by gender and age

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Online Coupons

It´s now becoming very popular, specially in U.S., social sites focused in offering coupons, discounts and best deals to buy anything from shops, malls,... . I briefly describe about the most popular ones at the moment, and the recent alternative presented by Google.

Groupon

Groupon is the most popular and well known daily deal coupon site. Groupon serves over 150 cities in North American and over 100 cities in Europe, Asia and South America. Each day, Groupon features an unbeatable deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in your city. Just click "BUY" before the offer ends at midnight and the Groupon will be yours!

Living Social

Just like Groupon, LivingSocial sends you a deal each day to use at a local business. You purchase the deals, and then receive a link to your voucher within the next business day. After you buy the deal, you'll get a unique link to share. Then, if three people buy the deal using your link, your deal is free. Deals vary widely in category, from restaurant discounts, to spa treatments, to pottery painting.

BuyWithMe

BuyWithMe is along the same lines as Groupon or Living Social, but unlike those two sites, BuyWithMe isn't necessarily a one-day-only type of deal. You usually have a few days to buy the deal, which is nice since you don't have to make snap decisions. The site is unique in that each deal requires a minimum number of people to sign up before the deal expires in order for it to go through for everyone. So, if the minimum isn't reached, you're not charged for the deal that you're not getting.

Google Offers

Google launched their Local deals program called ‘Google Offers’ Beta program this week. Google is entering into the Social Coupon race after their failed bid to buy the one year old Local deal giant Goupon for an amazing $6 Billion this past Fall.

Google will be offering their own Local deals to people that “subscribe” to their Google Offers program. They will be rolling out Google Offers Beta in Portland, Oregon to start followed by other cities soon after.



Online coupons are growing faster than online ads

"The percentage of local advertising that is not digital – and that's most of it – will change because the cost of advertising online is really low," says Frank Mulhern, associate dean of research at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill.

How quickly the online companies will succeed is another matter. In U.S. local online ad spending will grow nearly 18 percent this year, according to Borrell Associates Inc. Online coupons are growing faster in U.S. – up 50 percent between 2009 and 2010 – and worth more than $10 billion, Gordon Borrell says.

Small businesses represent a special challenge for online ad companies. Groupon and other daily-deal sites advertise discounts to millions of subscribers, via e-mail. The site keeps up to 50 percent of the coupon and the business gets a surge of customers, sometimes an onslaught.

"The sites offer great deals to the consumers at the expense of the small businesses," says Utpal Dholakia, a marketing professor at Rice University's business school in Houston, and author of a recent study on Groupon. He found that 32 percent of the businesses surveyed said their Groupon promotion was unprofitable. More than 40 percent of the respondents said they would not run the promotion again.

"It's like dynamite," says Jay Goltz, a Chicago business owner and blogger for The New York Times. He had 900 customers respond to his Groupon ad, but is unsure how many were already customers. In addition, he questions how many people will return to his stores as repeat customers. "It's a great invention, but it could blow up your house," he adds. "I wouldn't predict the end of the bulletin board."