Facebook Recommendations for Etsy

In this post, I will be talking about how my chosen company (I chose Etsy for this exercise) currently uses Facebook and how they could improve their Facebook presence.

To make this simple, I’ll answer the following questions.

  • What sort of things are they posting?

Links do different things on their website such as selected products or different guides to finding the specific item you want.

  • How does it fit with heir brand image?

It fits the image of promoting the little business, but they don’t do much to engage in things other than links to products.

  • Do they try and sell their products on their Facebook page?

Technically, yes, but the products that they post are those that their users sell.

  • How do they interact with their fans?

Not much it seems. They don’t reply to comments on their posts. But they do have a link to events, perhaps they interact better in the events.

  • Go to Topsy and find 5 relevant articles your company could post.

http://glasstire.com/2012/04/29/fiesta-arts-fair-sw-school-of-art/

http://www.surfandsunshine.com/perfectly-unique-present-wrapping-ideas/

http://browzer.net/easy-christmas-decor-ideas-holiday-craft-ideas/

https://twitter.com/Kyle_Books/status/404188581716967425/photo/1

http://www.ecokaren.com/holiday-gift-guide/

Considering these answers, Etsy could do quite a lot to improve their Facebook presence. To start off with, it would be a good idea to post a slightly larger variety of content, instead of just links to products. For example, news articles, tips and tricks, competitions, etc, could boost interest. They could also benefit from replying to comments on their page, to increase user interaction.

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More On SEO

This blog post is a follow up with some more information about SEO. It will cover the process of selecting keywords, what to think about when optimising a page, how to get your site indexed in a search engine and what to avoid doing when applying SEO.

  • What is the process of selecting keywords and phrases?

When selecting keywords and phrases, keep in mind to use both the keywords that suit the business and synonyms to those words. For example, use both niche words (words that are very specific to the business and might not apply to that many others), qualified words (words that are slightly less specific but still relates to the business very well) and common words that can apply to a lot of different things. This combination of types of words ensure that  many different things that people search for applies to the business. It’s important to put the words in comprehensive sentences as well as not using the same words over and over, to create a seamless flow in the text. The site should also have a keyword theme in accordance with what the business’s target audience is. Using keywords in a theme will make the site focus better on what it sells, where the business is, etc. Although the theme must not be used to repeat the keywords on the same page, because that leads to high density (see previous blog post), which is not good.

  • How should a page be optimised?

When optimising the page with SEO, there are some things to keep in mind. The placement of keywords is essential, so putting them in the right place helps a lot. The business will benefit from putting the keywords and phrases early in headings and other sentences, as well as in the title of the page.

  • How do you get a search engine to index your site?

You simply sign up for Google analytics’s or Bing Webmaster Tools, which will index the site for the engine. Other ways to do this is to use pay per click advertising, which the search engine is likely to pick up on and index the site. Or submitting the site to a The Open Directory Project (DMOZ.org) which will list the site under the appropriate section. Search engines often use the directory to find and index sites.

  • What should you avoid doing?

Some things to avoid when using SEO are as follows:

  • Using hidden text or hidden links.
  • Using automated queries to Google.
  • Stuffing pages with irrelevant keywords.
  • Creating sites or pages with duplicate content.
  • Spamming forums or other sites with links to the site.

Any way to try to fool the search enigines will most likely not work, the algorithms are smart enough to spot cheaters. Therefore, the general advice is to avoid anything even slightly dishonest when it comes to keywords and phrases.

I think that the idea of SEO is very straight forward, it is not rocket science and it’s easy to learn the best ways to do it. As long as the proper research is included in the process and all inappropriate things are avoided, the site should be easy to optimise.

 

Sources:

http://www.calcouk.com/bad_seo.html

 

Search Engine Optimisation

In this blog post I will explain what SEO is, what affects it and why it is important.

  • What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and is a way of ensuring that a website and it’s content is easily accessible for search engines to read. It’s meant to show information in a way that the search engines and algorithms can have use of. SEO is trying to get organic traffic on your site, which means traffic that is not coming from advertisement.

  • What can affect SEO ranking?

The three main things that matters in SEO ranking is popularity, relevance and keywords and phrases. The popularity of the site is the most important thing. Technically, if a site is completely blank but is very popular and gets a lot of unique visitors, then it will show up high in search results. Popularity is if the site gets a lot of traffic. Relevance is about the combined keywords and phrases and related content. It means that it looks at how the content is related (or relevant) to the search, and if it has a high relevance it will pop up higher in the results. Relevance is also about links, both inbound and outbound. What the link is called makes a difference too, for example if a link to Amazon is labelled “books” that will put Amazon higher in the search engine results. Keywords and phrases makes a big difference in the search results too, they count in prominence (as in where the keywords are on the page, and how early they appear in the text), occurrences (as in repetitions) and density. Density is how many times the words appear on the page, this number should not be too high. If the density is too high, the search engine will put the site lower in the list.

  • Why is SEO important?

SEO is important because the higher up in the search results you appear, the more visitors your website will receive. But the more relevant your content is, the more customers you’ll receive. It’s also important because it is cheap, the optimisation is very cheap in comparison to advertising or even free. SEO is targeting the website on the customers and what they will want and will search for.

I think SEO is a relatively easy and a very effective way to ensure a high position in search results. More customers are focusing on purchasing things online, which makes it really important for websites to use the correct SEO for their products.

Sources:

http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-seo

http://www.galleon-seo.co.uk/why-seo.html

Internet Security and Threats

With the internet developing and being used more and more, the technology to keep transactions and information secure is constantly getting more innovative. But so are the threats. This post is about some of the most common threats to internet security and the security that is developed to protect against them.

These are four common internet threats:

  • Viruses

Viruses are programs that are normally found attached to a file, they are self replicating and will infect a system when the file they are attached to is opened. What a virus does depends on the virus itself, but all viruses are malicious software that infect the system. An example of a virus is where the infected file keeps copying itself over and over again until the system memory is filled up, causing the machine not to function properly (or at all) due to the lack of memory. There are also viruses that are attached to a program, for example Word, that work in the way that when an infected Word file is opened the virus will cause all following documents to do different bizarre things like adding content or subtracting it.

  • Eavesdropping/interception

Eavesdropping is just what it sounds like, it is when the wrong person listens intercepts of listens in to messages on a network. There are two distinct types of eavesdropping, passive and active. Passive eavesdropping is when the wrong person listens secretly to the messages, while active is when the person adds something to the communication such as false messages or removes information.

  • Hacking

Hacking is where a skilled computer user analyse and discover a leak point in the target system, they will find ways to access and attack the system, according to Olalekan Adeyinka. What hackers do depends on the mission, but they might hack a large corporation to access their sensitive information or to make an information flood happen.

  • Trojans

Today’s Trojans work much like the classic ones in the Iliad by Homer, in which he battle of Troy is described. The Greeks fight the Trojans and create a giant horse in which they hide soldiers and then leave it outside of Troy. The Trojans think it’s a gift of surrender and bring the horse within their walls, but as night falls the soldiers come out of the horse and open the gates for the rest of their army. That way, the Greeks won easily and Troy was defeated. The modern computer Trojans hide inside programs that seem harmless, but carries malware such as viruses or remote access.

Some ways of protecting one’s computer from these risks can be making sure to have a firewall activated and to use a anti virus and anti malware program, as well as scanning regularly.

According to U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (cited on Symantec Corporation) says “Just as nuclear was the strategic warfare of the industrial era, cyberwarfare has become the strategic war of the information era,”

I think this quote is accurate, but as long as you make sure to keep your computer protected with a firewall and anti virus then you should be fine. The bigger issue is for large corporations, not for individuals. Individuals are only infected to spread the malware, and are not normally the target of the crime.

Sources:

http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/other_resources/b-istr_main_report_v18_2012_21291018.en-us.pdf

http://jmiller.uaa.alaska.edu/cse465-fall2011/papers/adeyinka2008-1.pdf

Mobile Payment Systems

Mobile payment systems is a relatively new up and coming technology that allows people to make payment or bank transfers to businesses or individuals easily with a tap of their smart-phone.

Many banks have already offered different types of basic mobile banking for years, but they are all developing. Some say that fast improvements of the technology create opportunities for banks to even create better and more loyal relationships with their customers.

According to Paul Taylor, “Analysts think the next few years will be a crucial time for banks and others planning to offer mobile payment and wallet services.”.

There is a mobile commerce joint venture (a joint venture is where several companies go together to create a business), created by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US and Verizon Wireless, called Isis. Isis has a Mobile Wallet that has had successful trials in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah. The Mobile Wallet is a way to easily pay with your phone with a tap of your finger.

Barclays also has a mobile payment device, they call this Pingit and it’s available to their customers as well as others who are not customers of the bank. The service allows people who are not customers of Barclays only to receive payments, but not to send them. Development by the Payments Council is in progress, which will allow people to send money through a mobile number only.

The whole idea of mobile payment systems is a little frightening to me. There is a lot of good development in the area but are we really so well secured when making a payment through our mobiles?

It’s easy to believe that the service is so easy and secure, but whether there has been enough testing regarding security is very difficult to find out. The site Pay Your Way claims “Payments made using the system will be protected by a passcode or similar security feature”, but a passcode seems like a fairly easy thing to crack. Keylogging (intercepting every key that is touched, a way to log people’s passwords and pins for illegal purposes) is possible even on smart phones and other touch devices, which is worth having a think about when it comes to paying with a tap on your smart phone. It all seems very questionable and untrustworthy if you ask me.

 
Sources:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3681e1dc-13af-11e3-9289-00144feabdc0.html

http://www.payyourway.org.uk/new-technology/mobile-phones/future-use-a-text-to-transfer-money/

https://www.paywithisis.com/about.html

http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/11328/keyloggers-on-smartphones

Emerging Technology Impacting on E-Commerce

Emerging technology is a way to describe developing technology that is going to drastically change the business and social environment. Recent examples of this are wireless data communication and advanced robotics.

The main impact on E-Commerce by emerging technologies comes from mobile devices. With more and more people using smartphones, the market for mobile commerce grows.

According to Peter Eckert, “Although the percentage of mobile commerce is just a fraction of ecommerce, it is revolutionizing the retail landscape.”.

Many are convinced that the mobile commerce market will keep growing in the coming years. EMarketer claims that the percentage of online purchases using mobile devices will reach 25% of the total online market by 2017.

Armando Roggio lists 7 things that may change as a result of mobile commerce, these are as follows:

  1. Website design will adapt to different devices to enable people to access businesses no matter what device they prefer.
  2. Marketplaces like Amazon, Rakuten and Newegg will be important, as they allow the customer to compare prices and products offered by different merchants.
  3. Shopping can take place anywhere, when people carry the store (i.e. their mobile device) in their pocket.
  4. New payment methods will develop, solutions like PayPal and Amazon Payments will continue to grow.
  5. Pricing will be transparent as the shopper can compare the prices and products of two different stores while physically walking around in one of them.
  6. Price comparison will be automatic, with apps for mobile devices that allow you to compare prices quickly.
  7. Reviews of products will be important as the ease of access increases and helps to find out what other people think of the product.

Essentially, mobile devices will make the online market develop and grow a lot. Being able to adapt to the changes will be the key for businesses if my sources are correct about the growth in the market. When things develop it’s all about keeping up, developing with them and creating a way to keep your business going. If that is done, the impact that mobile devices has on e-commerce won’t seem as difficult to deal with. As opposed to the hard blow  it can be if a business doesn’t keep up.

 

Sources:
http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/emerging-technologies.html
http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Smartphones-Tablets-Drive-Faster-Growth-Ecommerce-Sales/1009835

http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/opinion/columns/13313.html
http://www.orbitalalliance.com/blog/2013/april/mobile-devices-driving-ecommerce-growth.html
http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/3965-7-Ways-Mobile-Commerce-Will-Change-Retail