Archive for March 2009


Using Google Insights for Search

March 31st, 2009 — 2:16pm

You might think that here at WebEden we bang on too much about search engines. But as the recent Hitwise data shows, if you’re building a website then you need to know about search engines too. Search engines will probably be the biggest single source of traffic to your website. So they are a fundamental part of any website project.

We’ve previously talked about the Google keyword tool, where you can enter a keyword and find all the other words that are similar to that keyword. It will also give you a rough idea of how many searches per month there are for that keyword. This is a really useful tool to use when deciding what keywords you want to use for your Search Engine Optimisation programme.

A few months ago Google released another tool which has been seen as an enhancement of the keyword tool above. Google Insights for Search is designed to help website owners understand even more about which keywords are right for their website.

It calculates total searches for keywords, looks at the data historically, and produces graphs to show how a particular search term has trended over the last few years.

It then allows you to categorise the search trend by industry sector (called ‘verticals’) and geographical region.

Here’s a good illustration of how useful that can be, by looking at the search term ‘apple’. The vast majority of searches using the word ‘apple’ will be related to the computing brand ‘Apple’, as in ‘apple mac’. Lets say you’re a fruit seller, you obviously don’t want your website to appear high up for searches related to ‘apple mac’, but you still want a clear idea of the number of searches that are relevant to apples the fruit. You can use Google insights allows you to filter the results to just those that fall within the Food & Drink category. The result is the search trends, and related search terms, for just those searches about apple the fruit.

Lets say too that you’re hoping to sell apples online, but just to your local area or region. You can filter by geography to get just those apple related searches that are specifically about apples the fruit, in your area.

Seeing search volume trends can be really useful if you sell a seasonal product. If you sell valentines cards, then type ‘valentines cards’ into Google Insights and you can get a historical guide to the peaks and troughs of that search term. As you can see from the screen grab below, searches for valentines cards actually peak on the 11th February, so anyone looking to maximise sales of valentines cards need to make sure they’re maximising their marketing efforts before this time, and holding plenty of stock on this day.

Google Insights is also really useful if you’re thinking about stocking a new product on your website, or choosing to no longer sell another. Before you make any decisions, type the product name into Google Insights and see whether searches for it are going up or down. Anything that is climbing fast is clearly rising in demand, so its probably a good idea to sell it. If the trend is downward, then you might not want to restock that item when your current stock runs down.

The draw back of this product is that Google won’t actually put a figure on the number of searches for each term, but rather expresses the trend line as a percentage of the total number of searches. And bear in mind, search volumes are gong ever upwards, so if the number of searches for a using a particular keyword is remaining static, this is actually represented as a decreasing trend line.

Despite this, Google Insights will still show you a clear and accurate guide to the level of interest in your products, and the related search terms. You get all this data historically, and it’s all free.

Have a go at using the tool, and then leave your feedback below.

The Top UK Websites for 2008

March 30th, 2009 — 2:02pm

HitWise UK, the online website traffic measurement company, have just published some great website statistics for 2008. Its all about the top websites, with the highest traffic, the ones with the most visitors; and all that kind of thing.

Its useful to see who is being really successful at generating traffic to their website, since you can try and emulate the way they’ve generated success.

First off, its clothes shops. UK internet traffic to online clothes shops went up almost 18% between February 2008 and February 2009. This website category now makes up 1 in every 10 visits on online shops.

Here’s the top 10

1. www.next.co.uk
2. www.asos.com
3. www.topshop.com
4. www.riverisland.com
5. www.newlook.com
6. www.mandmdirect.com
7. www.dorothyperkins.co.uk
8. www.mothercare.com
9. www.monsoon.co.uk
10. www.jdsports.co.uk

Food and drink websites are also booming in the UK, due to the economic climate, since more people are looking to entertain at home.

Here’s the top ones:

1. www.bbc.co.uk/food
2. uktv.co.uk/food
3. www.deliaonline.com
4. www.waitrose.com
5. www.bbcgoodfood.com
6. www.channel4.com/food
7. www.qype.co.uk
8. www.jamieoliver.com
9. www.laithwaites.co.uk
10. www.sugarvine.com

The economic downturn and improved online services has also resulted in a 13% increase in traffic to Government websites.

Again, here’s the top 10:

1. www.metoffice.gov.uk
2. www.direct.gov.uk
3. www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk
4. www.hmrc.gov.uk
5. www.nhs.uk
6. www.dvla.gov.uk
7. www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
8. www.opsi.gov.uk
9. www.dsa.gov.uk
10. www.standards.dfes.gov.uk

Is your website one of the the top 10 in your market? Even if you already are, take a look at the keywords your most successful competitors are targeting, and make sure you are using them too. As we showed you in our Search Engine Optimisation guide, its really easy to use the WebEden Sitebuilder to change your keywords. Any comments, please leave them below.

Website Builder Tutorials – How to add a calendar

March 27th, 2009 — 2:54pm

Another great tool to add to your WebEden website is a calendar. Its a neat Web 2.0 feature that lets your users interact with your website. This ‘humanises’ the relationship between you and your website visitors, and means that they will spend more time on your website, and are more likely to return too. Watch the tutorial and then try using the website creator to add a calendar to your site.

Leave a comment and lets know how you get on!

What do I do if my menu disappears?

March 26th, 2009 — 3:30pm

Bit of an unusual post for the blog this one, but we’ve had a few enquiries so we thought we’d make it easier for all of you.

What’s happening?

In short, we have a small bug in the Sitemaker system which sometimes results in your website menu disappearing. This is called a ‘bad save’. If this happens don’t worry: your menu hasn’t disappeared, it has just been placed off the visual part of the website.

What do I do to get my menu back?

1. From your control panel click the ‘design’ menu. Then click ‘Menu’. You’ll then get a dialogue box that looks like this:

2. Click on the ‘Reposition and Scale’ button. You then get another dialogue box that looks like this:


Can you see how the ‘X’ value in this box has been set at -17654? What’s happening is that your menu has been placed 17,654 pixels off the left hand side of your website.

To get it back, just change the ‘x’ value to ‘20’. Boom – your menu is back!

You can now move the menu around as normal.

This bug will be fixed with the next update of our website builder system.

The Greatest Story ever told

March 26th, 2009 — 2:58pm

What is the biggest story in the world? The most well known, the one we’re all interested in, one that will be handed down from parent to child throughout the ages?

Is it the birth of Jesus? Or a biblical classic such as Noah’s Ark? What about something a bit closer to home: 1066 and all that? The battle of Britain? The story of England winning the world cup?

If you let Internet traffic answer this question, you’ll get an answer you didn’t expect.

The financial crisis has sparked an unprecedented interest in financial news. The Financial Times website FT.com has reported a 300 per cent growth in page views since the start of 2008.

And the BBC’s business pages recorded an all time peak after reports of the collapse of Lehman Brothers broke. The story headed ‘Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy got more than 1.9 million page views, which makes it the most popular story since the launch of the website.

OK, maybe not the greatest story ever told, but one thing is for sure: If you want more traffic on your site, makes sure you build a website that includes the latest financial bad news!

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