category-design

Archive for the ‘Web design’ Category

New website hookshut.com

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Our latest and freshest website design is the new website of Hook’s Hut. Hook’s Hut is a laid-back, relaxed beach bar on Curacao near the Marriott, Hilton and Floris Suite hotels. During the day Hook’s Hut caters to the people on the family-friendly beach and around dinner-time the beach chairs are cleared away for guests to have dinner on the beach.

They have bands (jazz, merengue, salsa, calypso) four evenings per week and their happy hours are famous on the island. Hook’s Hut is also a great location for a romantic wedding (pictures) or for any other kind of party.

As Caribbean pirates are the main theme of Hook’s Hut the website needed to use this theme for the design. On the other hand, the beach bar can also be a very romantic place (hence the weddings) so we also incorporated a romantic touch. Oscar and Jerry (one of our interns) worked on this design together and you can be the judge if they succeeded in combining the two concepts.

Right now the website is only available in Dutch, but we’re working with the client on getting the English version on-line as well.

New website villascuracao.com

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Tradewind Villas is a small complex of two luxury Curacao villas which are available for short-term rent. They are still working on the finishing touches of the accommodations, but it looks like it is going to be a fantastic property.

The villas are located in Bottelier which is an area in the south-east of Curacao (Banda Arriba) and from there you are just a stone’s throw away from some of the most popular beaches, restaurants and hiking areas.

The website is relatively small (6 pages per language, 2 languages), but we have a good feeling about its chances in the search engines for its most important keywords. It will be a question of gaining links to it and tweaking it over time. As the domain name is as fresh as the website it will probably suffer from the sandbox effect for a while, but that’s nothing a few good links can’t fix.

New website sofk.com

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Recently we launched a new website for Sentro Orto Fisiko Korsou (SOFK). SOFK is a center for high-tech prostheses and orthotics run by Tom de Windt and his wife Mieke. Tom is the prosthesist and Mike is a physiotherapist. These people give hope to people who have lost a limb or have a physical defect (by birth or by accident) by giving them the means to cope with their problem. We are very proud that we could help them with their website.

New website loket1online.com

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Last Thursday we launched the new website of Curacao publisher Loket 1. This website is only three pages in size so it’s not the biggest project we ever did, but it is the first website within our partnership with BKCC. Bas did the design and we implemented it into a website.

The idea is that we will be doing this more often. BKCC is more at home with print work and marketing concepts than we are (he has been doing this work for 15 years now) and we are more adept at creating websites. This makes Dragonfly and BKCC natural partners that do not need to bite each other. Furthermore, this also gives us and BKCC opportunities to work more efficiently and to exchange information and ideas.

New website sms-advocaten.com

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Yesterday we put the new website of Small Murray Scheper live. We are very happy to count this dynamic Curacaoan law firm as one of our clients and would like to wish them good luck with their new website.

The website is not entirely finished yet because we still need to add the English version, but the Dutch version is entirely finished. The design is slightly futuristic, but because of the warm, high quality photographs by Marika Ringnalda and the personal touches it has definitely not become a sterile website. For the official blurb, check out our clients page.

The ten commandments of a good and functional website design

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

1. Cleanliness & Simplicity
A good website design has to contain text and images in balanced proportions. As a rule; pages that only contain text (or even only 50%) have a hard time retaining the visitor’s attention. Also you should take care with adding a lot of dynamic effects, java applets and flash because they can create problems in the visitor’s computers (problems with the pugins, etc.). Pages with a lot of effects can be dense, tiring and boring.

2. Defined Structure
A good design needs a clearly defined structure with an easy to understand navigation that allows the user reach all the information of the website. (more…)

New website Caribbean Sea Sports

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Caribbean Sea Sports websiteRoughly two weeks ago we launched the new website of Caribbean Sea Sports. Caribbean Sea Sports is a dive center in Curacao which offers activities like diving, boat trips and all kinds of water sports. Their old website was made with frames, had a very old design and was not very user-friendly. For this reason Tom Zeck (the owner) asked us to create a new website for him and help him with his on-line marketing efforts.

One of Tom’s dive masters (Sadie) was a project manager in a previous life so he asked her to work with us in creating the website. With her help we defined the keywords to go after and set up a new structure. After this was defined she took care of the text and we set up the website.

The goal of the new website was not only to create a more user-friendly website with a more contemporary design, but also to make sure that the website was actually found with phrases other than “Caribbean Sea Sports” in Google, Yahoo and MSN. So far this is going pretty well. Google has indexed most of the new pages and allowed us to remove the old ones and Yahoo has indexed about 50% of the new website (but retains the old pages) . Regretfully MSN has only indexed the new homepage so far.

As for the statistics: so far we have seen an increase of about 50% in clicks coming from the search engines and we expect this trend to continue (and become stronger) during the coming weeks as Yahoo and MSN update their index. The really cool thing about the clicks coming from the search engines is the fact that the most popular search phrase is no longer “Caribbean Sea Sports”, but “sea sports” for which caribseasports.com is number 3 in Google. Another (now) popular phrase is “Curacao diving” for which this website is not very high yet in Google, but we are working on changing that.

So, we can quite confidently say that this project is going pretty well and we can expect some more interesting results over the coming weeks.

Is boo.com for real?

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

We received a press release today about the launch of a brand new travel website on boo.com. After reading the press release and doing some preliminary research we found it difficult to make up our mind about this website.

For the people that missed the dot-com bubble: boo.com was one of the great dot-com fiascos (it was rated number 6 in the list op top 10 dot-com flops over at cnet). The fashion website it used to host during the end of the last century was too heavy, not in touch with its audience and grossly missmanaged. But, the past is the past and Boo is as good a name for a travel website as it is for a fashion store.

The only independent review we managed to find on-line about the new Boo was over at dottourism.com, but they did not give an opinion about the website. The other websites we found with information about Boo were the ones that just rehash the press release.

As I said; it was difficult to make up our mind about this new website. So, I will just list the pros and cons that we see and I hope I will have my mind made up when I’m at the end of this post. (more…)

Hotel Website Design? It’s not all in the eye of the beholder… | By Keith Paulin

Monday, April 16th, 2007

When building a hotel website our goal is to deliver a product that will convert a high percentage of visitors into online revenues The communication with our client is extremely important, and both parties (Client and Dragonfly) need to have a clear view of the process of design and development.

Keith Paulin is a leading online marketeer in the hotel industry and wrote the following article about ‘Hotel Website Design’ on hsmai.org that we like to share with you:

Hotel website design is one of the most subjective issues that hotel marketeers face. Here are some guidelines for briefing your hotel website designer…

So, you have finally read one too many articles about how 30.0% plus of your revenues should be arriving via the internet and that a further 30.0% are influenced by what they discover online about your hotel from your website…and the end of month reports show you are way short of those numbers.

You have taken an objective look at your website and you have decided its time to act…you need a new website for your hotel. You want to get it right this time but where do you start? (more…)

New website Caribbean Motors

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

We are proud to announce that yesterday we put the new website for Caribbean Motors Curacao on-line. Their old website had gotten very heavy and unorganised and the design was definitely due for a make-over. You can find the new website at www.caribbeanmotors.com or you can check out the official blurb at our own website (www.dgfmedia.net).

This new website of Caribbean Motors Curacao is mostly about the design and somewhat about functionality. The new design is sleek and jazzy with a Caribbean touch. It is modeled after the Mitsubishi USA website, but a bit less fancy (the budget is a bit lower on Curacao than in the USA). (more…)

category-seo

Archive for the ‘SEM’ Category

Search marketers happy with ROI

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

According to a new report from JupiterResearch many search marketers are satisfied with the return on investment from Search Engine Marketing (SEM). As a result they are willing to spend more on SEM this year.

Apparently 65 percent of advertisers expect to spend more this year, 7 percent want to spend less and the rest does not plan to do either. The two major concerns for marketers appear to be rising prices for keywords and measuring the offline impact of Search Engine Marketing.

For a more comprehensive article about this trend visit searchenginewatch or you can buy the report at JupiterResearch.

Our own expectation for Curacao is roughly the same as the conclusions in this US report. (more…)

Panama Puts Yahoo Back in the Race

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

By Andy Beal
Source: Businessweek.com

If you’ve watched any professional motor sport, you’ve likely witnessed the following scenario. The early leader loses ground to other racers as his car’s tires begin wearing out or the engine starts smoking. A pit stop will initially cause the driver to fall even further behind. But ultimately the time taken under the care of mechanics helps the driver pull back into the lead. If the Web’s search engine industry is the race track, Yahoo has just taken a timely pit stop to try and win back ground lost against the new leader, Google.

On Feb. 5, Yahoo! (YHOO) started moving all of its paid search advertisers over to a new ranking model, informally known as “Panama.” The aim: Gain some much-needed momentum on Google’s more widely used AdWords platform.

It took Yahoo many months to create the new model, effectively rebuilding the system it acquired with the $1.6 billion purchase of Overture Services. Although Panama is just getting off the ground, there’s reason to believe this time in the pit has done Yahoo good (more…)

Search sells: New statistics point to big online business.

Monday, February 12th, 2007

Source: Yahoo!

There are more people using online search than ever before. In fact, most adults who buy online rely on search engines to research their purchases. Here’s a quick look at who’s searching and why:

  • 60 million people use a search engine on an average day.
  • 88% of adults who purchase items online conduct some sort of online research at least sometime prior to completing their purchase.
  • 67% of U.S. adults who research online before making a purchase decision use search engines as a research tool.
  • 40% of those conducting online research go to search engines first. Nearly equal percentages of respondents who use search engines to research products online use them to find a web site from which to buy (54%) or investigate where to purchase their desired product (53%).

Search Engine Marketing to jump 39% this year!

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

Source: HSMAI

Search engine marketing this year is projected to grow by 39% – the fastest growth of any online segment – according to a report from Outsell Inc. The national study also found that Net marketing will rise by 18% this year, compared to a 5.8% growth rate for all U.S. advertising.

According to the second annual report on ad spending from Outsell, Inc., U.S. advertising is expected to grow 5.8 percent in 2007. The national study of advertisers, controlling about $6.5 billion of spending, shows that companies plan to increase their online spending by 18 percent this year, faster than for any other major media type. Advertisers also plan to raise their spending for advertising on search engines by 39 percent, the fastest of any online media method.
(more…)

Definitions

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

When you work within an industry you tend to forget that not everybody knows what terms mean. For instance, when we have a meeting with the accountant I need to ask for an explanation every 10 sentences. The same goes, of course, for what we do and the terms and abbreviations we use. Therefore, for the benefit of our clients, we would like to explain what we mean when we use certain words. Below you will find the definitions we use at Dragonfly:

  • Search Engine Optimization (on-site/off-site)
    The abbreviation for both forms of search engine optimization is SEO.
    On-site Search Engine Optimization is a process which uses a set of techniques for optimizing readability of your website by search engine robots (searchbots, spiders). Off-site Search Engine Optimization is a process which involves finding ways of making a website more popular in the ‘eyes’ of search engines without touching the website itself.
    The goal of SEO (on-site and off-site) is for the website to rank higher in the organic (free) search results for relevant search queries.
  • Search Engine Marketing
    Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a marketing technique utilizing the sponsored search results of search engines to advertise a website when relevant search queries are made.
  • Internet Marketing
    Internet Marketing is the process of marketing a website (or products available from a website) on the internet. This can involve SEO & SEM, but also regular on-line advertising, strategically placed content, etcetera.

category-sem

Archive for the ‘SEM’ Category

Search marketers happy with ROI

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

According to a new report from JupiterResearch many search marketers are satisfied with the return on investment from Search Engine Marketing (SEM). As a result they are willing to spend more on SEM this year.

Apparently 65 percent of advertisers expect to spend more this year, 7 percent want to spend less and the rest does not plan to do either. The two major concerns for marketers appear to be rising prices for keywords and measuring the offline impact of Search Engine Marketing.

For a more comprehensive article about this trend visit searchenginewatch or you can buy the report at JupiterResearch.

Our own expectation for Curacao is roughly the same as the conclusions in this US report. (more…)

Panama Puts Yahoo Back in the Race

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

By Andy Beal
Source: Businessweek.com

If you’ve watched any professional motor sport, you’ve likely witnessed the following scenario. The early leader loses ground to other racers as his car’s tires begin wearing out or the engine starts smoking. A pit stop will initially cause the driver to fall even further behind. But ultimately the time taken under the care of mechanics helps the driver pull back into the lead. If the Web’s search engine industry is the race track, Yahoo has just taken a timely pit stop to try and win back ground lost against the new leader, Google.

On Feb. 5, Yahoo! (YHOO) started moving all of its paid search advertisers over to a new ranking model, informally known as “Panama.” The aim: Gain some much-needed momentum on Google’s more widely used AdWords platform.

It took Yahoo many months to create the new model, effectively rebuilding the system it acquired with the $1.6 billion purchase of Overture Services. Although Panama is just getting off the ground, there’s reason to believe this time in the pit has done Yahoo good (more…)

Search sells: New statistics point to big online business.

Monday, February 12th, 2007

Source: Yahoo!

There are more people using online search than ever before. In fact, most adults who buy online rely on search engines to research their purchases. Here’s a quick look at who’s searching and why:

  • 60 million people use a search engine on an average day.
  • 88% of adults who purchase items online conduct some sort of online research at least sometime prior to completing their purchase.
  • 67% of U.S. adults who research online before making a purchase decision use search engines as a research tool.
  • 40% of those conducting online research go to search engines first. Nearly equal percentages of respondents who use search engines to research products online use them to find a web site from which to buy (54%) or investigate where to purchase their desired product (53%).

Search Engine Marketing to jump 39% this year!

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

Source: HSMAI

Search engine marketing this year is projected to grow by 39% – the fastest growth of any online segment – according to a report from Outsell Inc. The national study also found that Net marketing will rise by 18% this year, compared to a 5.8% growth rate for all U.S. advertising.

According to the second annual report on ad spending from Outsell, Inc., U.S. advertising is expected to grow 5.8 percent in 2007. The national study of advertisers, controlling about $6.5 billion of spending, shows that companies plan to increase their online spending by 18 percent this year, faster than for any other major media type. Advertisers also plan to raise their spending for advertising on search engines by 39 percent, the fastest of any online media method.
(more…)

Definitions

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

When you work within an industry you tend to forget that not everybody knows what terms mean. For instance, when we have a meeting with the accountant I need to ask for an explanation every 10 sentences. The same goes, of course, for what we do and the terms and abbreviations we use. Therefore, for the benefit of our clients, we would like to explain what we mean when we use certain words. Below you will find the definitions we use at Dragonfly:

  • Search Engine Optimization (on-site/off-site)
    The abbreviation for both forms of search engine optimization is SEO.
    On-site Search Engine Optimization is a process which uses a set of techniques for optimizing readability of your website by search engine robots (searchbots, spiders). Off-site Search Engine Optimization is a process which involves finding ways of making a website more popular in the ‘eyes’ of search engines without touching the website itself.
    The goal of SEO (on-site and off-site) is for the website to rank higher in the organic (free) search results for relevant search queries.
  • Search Engine Marketing
    Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a marketing technique utilizing the sponsored search results of search engines to advertise a website when relevant search queries are made.
  • Internet Marketing
    Internet Marketing is the process of marketing a website (or products available from a website) on the internet. This can involve SEO & SEM, but also regular on-line advertising, strategically placed content, etcetera.

category-curacao-seo

Archive for the ‘Internet marketing’ Category

Curacao.com gets an SEO make-over

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

For some time now I have been working on the website curacao.com. As the work I do for this site is apart from Dragonfly Media and as it is more technical in nature I never blogged about it here before. However, lately it is starting to become more interesting to blog about because the Tourist Board (owner of curacao.com) has started up an SEO make-over campaign.

The Tourist Board and I have been talking about it for some time now and they fully realize that optimizing your website is one of the most effective ways of getting more visitors (on-line AND off-line). The SEO report I made for them outlined a set of actions which would help in getting better rankings for the targeted key phrases. Once we have pruned the list of keywords and phrases to target, we will start implementing the suggestions.

The Curacao Tourist Board has graciously allowed me to report on the results in this blog so you can expect periodical updates here about the status of this campaign.

Disclaimer in the interest of full disclosure: Dragonfly Media and I have no authority whatsoever when it comes to the contents of curacao.com and associated websites. Any questions regarding the contents of and/or advertising on curacao.com should be directed to the Curacao Tourist Board or the companies/people that they have charged with authority in this respect.

Working with redirects in an SEO friendly way – 301

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

The sad thing about making websites is that they are, by definition, temporary. At the speed the internet is moving, you just know that the website you made yesterday is not good enough anymore tomorrow. But then again, this is marketing and that’s the way it works. You need to move forward and renew yourself, and your company, every day to be able to stay ahead of the curve.

When you redesign, reorganize or rebuild a website the URLs of the individual pages will usually change as well. This becomes a problem when you think of all the links into your website and the link juice you’re throwing away if you don’t redirect these links in an SEO-friendly way. Sure, you can catch the errors people are getting and redirect them to the proper page or your homepage with links or JavaScript, but these methods don’t work well for the search engines. This is where 301 redirects come into play. (more…)

Progress of SEO on Curacao

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

Dragonfly Media has been trying to promote Search Engine Optimization on Curacao for a while now. We have been talking with (potential) clients, we did our Curacao SEO Project and we have some other plans to improve the general level of SEO on our little island.

We are seeing some progress in the amount of people that know something about SEO here and more and more clients are asking us for this specific service.

Our work is far from done though when you take into account this post on SEOmoz about how Search Marketing Education still has a long way to go. And they’re talking about the US which is usually about 5 years ahead of Curacao when it comes to the internet!

What’s FUD?

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

One of the blogs I read regularly is garrycon.com. Last week Garry posted a somewhat panicky post about how he thought that he’d been doing all the wrong things on his website.

He wrote about how he thought schemes like Text Link Ads were bad, links without rel=”nofollow” would make him lose PageRank and how duplicate content on his own site was making pages in his site go supplemental.  As Andy Beard told Garry in the comments; he was effectively the victim of Google FUD.

FUD is an abbreviation for Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. The idea is that you use people’s fears to sell a product by casting doubt on the competitor’s product. IBM used it very effectively during the 70’s to discredit Amdahl. Even though Amdahl’s products were better and more cost-efficient than IBM’s products people preferred IBM computers because of the FUD.

Google FUD is slightly different though. Google uses it to spread fear in the hearts of SEOs that try to bend the rules. The method is that they tell webmasters just enough to know what is the right way to do things but they leave room for speculation. Then when people address the holes or, try to, take advantage of the apparent holes in the algorithm they hint that those tactics might get people banned. (more…)

Curacao tourism marketing meeting

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

There are several companies and organisations on Curacao that represent Curacao abroad to bring in more tourism. The two most important ones in this respect are the Curacao Tourism Board (CTB) and the Curacao Hospitality And Tourism Association (CHATA).

Today these two organisations joined hands and presented the facts and figures for 2006 and moderated a discussion about the marketing plan 2008. Bo went to this meeting in the morning and I joined the afternoon session.

We are no off-line marketing guru so we can’t say very much about the what, where and when of promoting a Caribbean destination in the US, but we do know about the internet-side of this discussion. There are two things about the on-line marketing efforts which were discussed that piqued my interest. (more…)

Curacao SEO Project – m-a.an

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Muller & Associates is a tax law firm on Curacao. They offer many services in the tax law arena like fiscal advice, help with audits and assistance if the tax collector has a beef with your company. An extra service they offer is a fiscal subscription where they take care of all your tax matters at a fixed monthly rate. We don’t know anything about taxes and such, but this sounds good.

The website looks very clean. The design is corporate, but not boring, and the color scheme is very appealing. It is available in three languages (Dutch, English and Spanish) and has a very flat structure. This makes it easily digestible without treating visitors like idiots. We like. (more…)

Why use SEO?

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

There are still a lot of misconceptions about Search Engine Optimization. Some of the people we talk to (potential clients or other design agencies) think that it’s as simple as submitting your website to the search engines and you will be found for the keyword “hotels”. Others think that it’s a dark art practiced with herbs, pentagrams and strange incantations when the moon is full. Some of us do drink herb tea in the evenings occasionally, but they stick to talking instead of chanting.

It is only natural that people have these misconceptions. Ask me to tell you everything I know about cars and I will also be done in 5 minutes and 2 minutes of those will be gibberish. That doesn’t mean I’m an idiot, it just means that I know more about SEO than I do about cars.

Search Engine Optimization is still a relatively young discipline (especially here on Curacao), it can be pretty complex and is certainly very dynamic. This is the perfect breeding ground for misconceptions. The more people learn about SEO and/or understand the reason why you should use it, the easier our work becomes. (more…)

Curacao SEO Project – sofk.com

Monday, June 11th, 2007

Sentro Orto Fisiko Korsou is the practice of prosthetist Tom de Windt on Curacao. SOFK helps people that need a prosthetic limb. He helps local people as well as people from abroad that want to combine a holiday with getting a new prosthesis.

It looks like nothing much has been done on the website for the last few years and it is past due for an overhaul (or at least a content update). The website has been around for a while (since 2000, domain registered in 1998). Seeing that the first Curacaoan websites stem from 1997/98, 7 years is a respectable age here. (more…)

Curacao SEO Project – curacao-actief.com

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Curacao Actief is an environmentally conscious tourism company here on Curacao. In effect, this means that they organize tours and activities that go easy on the environment and help people understand the importance of conservation and the beauty of nature.

For a long time people have only taken advantage of nature on Curacao without giving back. It is good to see that eco-tourism is also on the rise on Curacao so our children can enjoy nature here as well.

When looking at their website we get the impression that Curacao Actief is a professional company with a vision and the business-savvy to turn their vision into reality. The homepage has a lot of information and a clear, straightforward structure. The internal pages are filled with information and are easily digestible. So far, this is looking like a well-made, functional website. (more…)

Results of getting pages out of Google’s supplemental

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Two weeks ago we posted about our efforts for getting some pages out of Google’s supplemental index. The theory was that pages that have gone into supplemental are not getting enough internal link love. This theory was backed by material from Michael Martinez, Matt Cutts and Rand Fishkin so we were pretty confident that this would work, but you’re never sure in SEO.

We decided to use a WordPress plugin called popularity contest to display a list of most visited posts on every page in the blog. As a result of using this plugin every page on the blog would add a link to the ten most popular posts in the blog. This means that those most popular pages would get link love from about 100 sources and every new page would add another link. (more…)

category-marketing

Archive for the ‘Internet marketing’ Category

Curacao.com gets an SEO make-over

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

For some time now I have been working on the website curacao.com. As the work I do for this site is apart from Dragonfly Media and as it is more technical in nature I never blogged about it here before. However, lately it is starting to become more interesting to blog about because the Tourist Board (owner of curacao.com) has started up an SEO make-over campaign.

The Tourist Board and I have been talking about it for some time now and they fully realize that optimizing your website is one of the most effective ways of getting more visitors (on-line AND off-line). The SEO report I made for them outlined a set of actions which would help in getting better rankings for the targeted key phrases. Once we have pruned the list of keywords and phrases to target, we will start implementing the suggestions.

The Curacao Tourist Board has graciously allowed me to report on the results in this blog so you can expect periodical updates here about the status of this campaign.

Disclaimer in the interest of full disclosure: Dragonfly Media and I have no authority whatsoever when it comes to the contents of curacao.com and associated websites. Any questions regarding the contents of and/or advertising on curacao.com should be directed to the Curacao Tourist Board or the companies/people that they have charged with authority in this respect.

Working with redirects in an SEO friendly way – 301

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

The sad thing about making websites is that they are, by definition, temporary. At the speed the internet is moving, you just know that the website you made yesterday is not good enough anymore tomorrow. But then again, this is marketing and that’s the way it works. You need to move forward and renew yourself, and your company, every day to be able to stay ahead of the curve.

When you redesign, reorganize or rebuild a website the URLs of the individual pages will usually change as well. This becomes a problem when you think of all the links into your website and the link juice you’re throwing away if you don’t redirect these links in an SEO-friendly way. Sure, you can catch the errors people are getting and redirect them to the proper page or your homepage with links or JavaScript, but these methods don’t work well for the search engines. This is where 301 redirects come into play. (more…)

Progress of SEO on Curacao

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

Dragonfly Media has been trying to promote Search Engine Optimization on Curacao for a while now. We have been talking with (potential) clients, we did our Curacao SEO Project and we have some other plans to improve the general level of SEO on our little island.

We are seeing some progress in the amount of people that know something about SEO here and more and more clients are asking us for this specific service.

Our work is far from done though when you take into account this post on SEOmoz about how Search Marketing Education still has a long way to go. And they’re talking about the US which is usually about 5 years ahead of Curacao when it comes to the internet!

What’s FUD?

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

One of the blogs I read regularly is garrycon.com. Last week Garry posted a somewhat panicky post about how he thought that he’d been doing all the wrong things on his website.

He wrote about how he thought schemes like Text Link Ads were bad, links without rel=”nofollow” would make him lose PageRank and how duplicate content on his own site was making pages in his site go supplemental.  As Andy Beard told Garry in the comments; he was effectively the victim of Google FUD.

FUD is an abbreviation for Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. The idea is that you use people’s fears to sell a product by casting doubt on the competitor’s product. IBM used it very effectively during the 70’s to discredit Amdahl. Even though Amdahl’s products were better and more cost-efficient than IBM’s products people preferred IBM computers because of the FUD.

Google FUD is slightly different though. Google uses it to spread fear in the hearts of SEOs that try to bend the rules. The method is that they tell webmasters just enough to know what is the right way to do things but they leave room for speculation. Then when people address the holes or, try to, take advantage of the apparent holes in the algorithm they hint that those tactics might get people banned. (more…)

Curacao tourism marketing meeting

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

There are several companies and organisations on Curacao that represent Curacao abroad to bring in more tourism. The two most important ones in this respect are the Curacao Tourism Board (CTB) and the Curacao Hospitality And Tourism Association (CHATA).

Today these two organisations joined hands and presented the facts and figures for 2006 and moderated a discussion about the marketing plan 2008. Bo went to this meeting in the morning and I joined the afternoon session.

We are no off-line marketing guru so we can’t say very much about the what, where and when of promoting a Caribbean destination in the US, but we do know about the internet-side of this discussion. There are two things about the on-line marketing efforts which were discussed that piqued my interest. (more…)

Curacao SEO Project – m-a.an

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Muller & Associates is a tax law firm on Curacao. They offer many services in the tax law arena like fiscal advice, help with audits and assistance if the tax collector has a beef with your company. An extra service they offer is a fiscal subscription where they take care of all your tax matters at a fixed monthly rate. We don’t know anything about taxes and such, but this sounds good.

The website looks very clean. The design is corporate, but not boring, and the color scheme is very appealing. It is available in three languages (Dutch, English and Spanish) and has a very flat structure. This makes it easily digestible without treating visitors like idiots. We like. (more…)

Why use SEO?

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

There are still a lot of misconceptions about Search Engine Optimization. Some of the people we talk to (potential clients or other design agencies) think that it’s as simple as submitting your website to the search engines and you will be found for the keyword “hotels”. Others think that it’s a dark art practiced with herbs, pentagrams and strange incantations when the moon is full. Some of us do drink herb tea in the evenings occasionally, but they stick to talking instead of chanting.

It is only natural that people have these misconceptions. Ask me to tell you everything I know about cars and I will also be done in 5 minutes and 2 minutes of those will be gibberish. That doesn’t mean I’m an idiot, it just means that I know more about SEO than I do about cars.

Search Engine Optimization is still a relatively young discipline (especially here on Curacao), it can be pretty complex and is certainly very dynamic. This is the perfect breeding ground for misconceptions. The more people learn about SEO and/or understand the reason why you should use it, the easier our work becomes. (more…)

Curacao SEO Project – sofk.com

Monday, June 11th, 2007

Sentro Orto Fisiko Korsou is the practice of prosthetist Tom de Windt on Curacao. SOFK helps people that need a prosthetic limb. He helps local people as well as people from abroad that want to combine a holiday with getting a new prosthesis.

It looks like nothing much has been done on the website for the last few years and it is past due for an overhaul (or at least a content update). The website has been around for a while (since 2000, domain registered in 1998). Seeing that the first Curacaoan websites stem from 1997/98, 7 years is a respectable age here. (more…)

Curacao SEO Project – curacao-actief.com

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Curacao Actief is an environmentally conscious tourism company here on Curacao. In effect, this means that they organize tours and activities that go easy on the environment and help people understand the importance of conservation and the beauty of nature.

For a long time people have only taken advantage of nature on Curacao without giving back. It is good to see that eco-tourism is also on the rise on Curacao so our children can enjoy nature here as well.

When looking at their website we get the impression that Curacao Actief is a professional company with a vision and the business-savvy to turn their vision into reality. The homepage has a lot of information and a clear, straightforward structure. The internal pages are filled with information and are easily digestible. So far, this is looking like a well-made, functional website. (more…)

Results of getting pages out of Google’s supplemental

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Two weeks ago we posted about our efforts for getting some pages out of Google’s supplemental index. The theory was that pages that have gone into supplemental are not getting enough internal link love. This theory was backed by material from Michael Martinez, Matt Cutts and Rand Fishkin so we were pretty confident that this would work, but you’re never sure in SEO.

We decided to use a WordPress plugin called popularity contest to display a list of most visited posts on every page in the blog. As a result of using this plugin every page on the blog would add a link to the ten most popular posts in the blog. This means that those most popular pages would get link love from about 100 sources and every new page would add another link. (more…)

category-hospitality

Archive for the ‘Hospitality’ Category

Curacao tourism marketing meeting

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

There are several companies and organisations on Curacao that represent Curacao abroad to bring in more tourism. The two most important ones in this respect are the Curacao Tourism Board (CTB) and the Curacao Hospitality And Tourism Association (CHATA).

Today these two organisations joined hands and presented the facts and figures for 2006 and moderated a discussion about the marketing plan 2008. Bo went to this meeting in the morning and I joined the afternoon session.

We are no off-line marketing guru so we can’t say very much about the what, where and when of promoting a Caribbean destination in the US, but we do know about the internet-side of this discussion. There are two things about the on-line marketing efforts which were discussed that piqued my interest. (more…)

More hotel rooms on Curacao

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Tourism is booming on Curacao and the hotel chains know it. This morning the Curacao Tourist Board and CHATA (Curacao Hospitality And Tourism Association) presented the new Room Inventory Forecast to CHATA’s members.

This forecast shows the projects that are currently under construction or under development. It shows that from now until 2010 a total of almost 3,000 extra rooms will be available for tourists. You can see all the numbers at CTB’s corporate website. This is a good time to do business on Curacao!

When your guests talk – do you listen?

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

One of the industries that has changed the most due to the power of the internet is the travel industry. In the ‘good old days’ when you wanted to travel somewhere you would go to a travel agent, load up on brochures and book your vacation with a travel agent. Your opinion of a destination was based on those brochures and the recommendations of travel agents and your friends’ stories. If nobody in your circle of friends had ever been to Thailand and your travel agent didn’t actively tout it, chances were that you would never go there. Some adventurous souls would grab a Lonely Planet and chase Phileas Fogg around the world, but the majority of people just spent their holidays on the well-beaten path.

The internet has changed all that. Roughly 80% of travelers research and book their holidays online and this is expected to become 90% before this decade ends. If you are in the hospitality business you need to be where your guests will find you and the internet (read: Web 2.0) is a different ballgame than the travel agents. In the days of the travel agents and the brochures potential guests could only listen to what you said, but now you need to listen to them and join the conversation or suffer the consequences.  (more…)

Is boo.com for real?

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

We received a press release today about the launch of a brand new travel website on boo.com. After reading the press release and doing some preliminary research we found it difficult to make up our mind about this website.

For the people that missed the dot-com bubble: boo.com was one of the great dot-com fiascos (it was rated number 6 in the list op top 10 dot-com flops over at cnet). The fashion website it used to host during the end of the last century was too heavy, not in touch with its audience and grossly missmanaged. But, the past is the past and Boo is as good a name for a travel website as it is for a fashion store.

The only independent review we managed to find on-line about the new Boo was over at dottourism.com, but they did not give an opinion about the website. The other websites we found with information about Boo were the ones that just rehash the press release.

As I said; it was difficult to make up our mind about this new website. So, I will just list the pros and cons that we see and I hope I will have my mind made up when I’m at the end of this post. (more…)

Best practices in measuring a hotel’s online marketing efforts

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Source: Hotelmarketing.com

In today’s dynamic market where occupancy rates and ADRs depend on how well hoteliers utilize Internet marketing, it is no longer sufficient to measure basic website traffic stats like visitors, page views, or campaign stats like banner click-through rates and PPC clicks.

By Max Starkov and Jason Price

Marketing is all about results. Unlike offline marketing, we can track and analyze ROIs from our online marketing campaign results quickly and accurately over the Internet. There is no medium that allows tracking like the Internet does, yet in hospitality, we didn’t adopt these tracking technologies as soon as they were available. Instead we relied on cheap or free analytical tools to provide us with the information that management uses to make decisions. As a result, we are often basing important marketing decisions on inferior information.

We consistently receive numerous questions from hoteliers concerning how to most efficiently track and measure the ROI of online marketing efforts down to the reservation process. What metrics should hoteliers measure and pay attention to? What are the best practices in measuring ROI from the hotel’s marketing efforts? Or ROI from the hotel website? What are the best analytical tools out there? (more…)

Hotel Website Design? It’s not all in the eye of the beholder… | By Keith Paulin

Monday, April 16th, 2007

When building a hotel website our goal is to deliver a product that will convert a high percentage of visitors into online revenues The communication with our client is extremely important, and both parties (Client and Dragonfly) need to have a clear view of the process of design and development.

Keith Paulin is a leading online marketeer in the hotel industry and wrote the following article about ‘Hotel Website Design’ on hsmai.org that we like to share with you:

Hotel website design is one of the most subjective issues that hotel marketeers face. Here are some guidelines for briefing your hotel website designer…

So, you have finally read one too many articles about how 30.0% plus of your revenues should be arriving via the internet and that a further 30.0% are influenced by what they discover online about your hotel from your website…and the end of month reports show you are way short of those numbers.

You have taken an objective look at your website and you have decided its time to act…you need a new website for your hotel. You want to get it right this time but where do you start? (more…)

The Web Gives Hotel Guests the Last Word

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

Source: hotelmarketing.com

NEARLY every morning, over his second cup of coffee, Tom Brady, general manager at the Affinia Chicago, logs onto his computer and surfs over to TripAdvisor.com to see if there are any new postings about his hotel.

“It’s an obsession,” he said. If the review is positive he moves on. If it’s unfavorable — like the complaint posted in March from a guest who had received a $90 parking ticket because of a valet’s error — he’s on it immediately. In that case, he marched straight out to the valet to find out what had happened. After identifying the guest, he made sure that the company issued an apology and a reimbursement for the ticket.
“This is all over the world,” he said, describing his concern about any negative comment on TripAdvisor. “Everyone is looking at this. I’ve got to make sure it’s solved quickly, so God forbid someone else doesn’t have the same problem.” (more…)

Five reasons consumers don’t book travel online

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Source: www.hotelmarketing.com

Despite improved customer-satisfaction ratings at several e-commerce companies, online travel sites still suffer from security , performance and customer perception woes that cause potential travelers to put down their mouse and pick up the phone to book trips.

Forrester Research found that in the light of recent survey data those who book travel continue to resist the Web as their main resource for making reservations. The research firm polled about 5,330 North American consumers in the last quarter of 2006 to determine exactly what prevents them from putting their faith in online travel sites. To start, the top-three most common reasons for those who book travel not to stay online to make reservations include concern over credit-card security, Web-site performance issues and limits on the actions they could take online. (more…)

Tripadvisor on your site?

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

For the people who do not know Tripadvisor: Tripadvisor is one of the largest travel communities on the web. On their website travellers can write reviews of destinations and hospitality businesses (mainly hotels). A positive review on Tripadvisor is the ultimate testimonial.

Tripadvisor now also gives hotels the opportunity to post the Tripadvisor reviews on their own website. The technology involved is a tiny bit of HTML-code which hotels can easily implement in their website. Through this code the latest reviews (positive and negative) are shown on the hotel’s website.

“TripAdvisor is the largest source of travel information anywhere, and our new distribution initiative sets out to make it the largest source of travel information everywhere,” said Christine Petersen, senior vice president of marketing for TripAdvisor. “Consumers today value and seek out the opinions of people like themselves who have already lived the experience they’re considering.”

We wonder which hotel on Curacao will be the first one to show its self-confidence and put these reviews on their website…

TripAdvisor Goes Video!

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Source: HSMAI.org

NEEDHAM, Mass., TripAdvisor(R), the largest travel community in the world, now allows travelers to quickly and easily post their vacation videos. TripAdvisor also allows travel marketers to showcase their wares by uploading their videos. Thousands of TripAdvisor travelers already uploaded their videos and hundreds of thousands more viewed them, revealing a strong demand for ever more descriptive ways to tell a story or research a trip.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth a million. Video can convey so much emotion so quickly,” said Christine Petersen, senior vice president of marketing for TripAdvisor. “We’re thrilled to offer the elegance of the written word, the power of candid photos and now the punch of video, so that whatever the experience, our travelers and the hospitality industry alike can share their information most effectively.”
(more…)

category-general

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Latin American Opportunities in Curacao

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

Recently we talked about the opportunities in Latin America (or better: the Latino market) for internet companies. Curacao is ideally positioned to do business in Latin America; not only because of its geographical location, but also for the fact that it has a stable government and there are strong ties with Holland.

The CIFA (Curaçao International Financial Services Association)  recognizes these opportunities and is organizing a conference from September 6 to 9. The title of the conference is the “Wealth and Business Preservation conference” and its aim is to show the benefits that Curacao can offer to so-called high net worth individuals for living and doing business in Curacao.

More information about the conference can be found on CIFA’s (Spanish) conference page. There is also conference information available in English, but the conference itself will be focused on Latin America and therefore the official language will be Spanish.

New website loket1online.com

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Last Thursday we launched the new website of Curacao publisher Loket 1. This website is only three pages in size so it’s not the biggest project we ever did, but it is the first website within our partnership with BKCC. Bas did the design and we implemented it into a website.

The idea is that we will be doing this more often. BKCC is more at home with print work and marketing concepts than we are (he has been doing this work for 15 years now) and we are more adept at creating websites. This makes Dragonfly and BKCC natural partners that do not need to bite each other. Furthermore, this also gives us and BKCC opportunities to work more efficiently and to exchange information and ideas.

Great turn out at meetup

Friday, July 6th, 2007

The Curacao marketing & advertising professionals meetup of last Wednesday was a big success. In the true Caribbean fashion everybody was at least a half hour late, but the turn out was great.

We counted about 40 people (which is a lot for such a small island) when everybody was in. There were marketers (off-line and on-line), advertising agencies, photographers, designers and all kinds of other riff-raff. We hope that next time some more of the other web design agencies will also be able to come because the web should not be underrepresented here. (more…)

Opportunities in Latin America

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

About two years I spoke with a friend of mine who was working with one of the big development/marketing companies in the US. He did some work in Curacao and saw a lot of potential; not only here, but also in the Latin American market. He pitched his idea of setting up an office in Curacao to explore and service the Latin American market to his boss but she shot his idea down. The reasoning was that they didn’t see a lot of value in that market. They did not want to go beyond the Caribbean Sea which they could service from Miami.

About two weeks ago the second Search Engine Strategies (SES) Latino happened and it looks like my friend was right on the money. The Latin American market is growing and has even been a #1 priority of Google for the last year. This specialized SES was the result of this growth and potential. (more…)

WordPress upgrade

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

We were having some problems with the sidebar in the blog. It just stopped halfway through on some occasions, gave errors on other occasions and even worked fine sometimes as well.

We weren’t sure why this was occurring (we’re guessing that it’s probably a question of a too heavy load). Someone here on the island told me that maybe upgrading to the newest version would help and because I don’t like all the work involved in moving websites to different hosting plans I thought I’d give it a shot

So, we’ve got ourselves a brand new, spiffy blog. If you see any errors, could you please let us know so we can fix it or move to another server.

Curacao marketing & advertising professionals meetup

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Curacao has its own set of rules on “how to do business”. Just like in all other countries, you need to know what’s acceptable behaviour and what’s not. One particular rule here is a real pearl of local wisdom (and a pet peeve of ours): “a competitor is a competitor is a competitor”.

We feel that if you see your competitor only as a competitor you’re limiting the progress of the line of business you are in. The result is a group of backward companies that are mostly concerned with what the competition is doing, instead of working to improve their own product.

The adherence to this rule is changing though. Especially in the more internationally oriented businesses there seems to be a trend towards cooperation (with a healthy dose of competition) instead of raw, unabiding competition. A shining example is of course the hospitality business, which is internationally oriented by default, with the CHATA as its Curacaoan flagship.

An attempt is being made now by Tamira La Cruz to also strengthen the ties between the marketing & advertising professionals on the island. (more…)

Wanted: graphic designer

Friday, June 15th, 2007

Bas Kok Creative Communicatie (one of our strategic partners) is looking for a graphic designer. Are you interested in working with some of the most interesting clients on the island and are based on Curacao? Give them a call!

You can find the official ad below and we added a translation for those of you that don’t speak Dutch (about 99.9% of the world’s population). (more…)

This site may harm your computer

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

One of the most awful things that can happen to a company that engages in SEO is when Google says that that company’s website is harmful. Nobody will visit your website from Google while that warning is up, that’s for sure. This is exactly what happened to us this week:
Google’s SERP
Update june 15: yesterday evening the warning was removed. Google likes us again :).

The new stuff we try out, we always try out on our own website before we go anywhere near our clients’ websites. In this case we tried something out on our site which opened up a vulnerability. Somebody found it, took advantage of it and placed some malicious JavaScript on our homepage.

We figured out what happened, when it happened (last friday 10 a.m.) and how to fix it. So, we fixed it, checked our clients’ websites (just to be sure) and were pretty smug about it. Regretfully; over the weekend Google indexed our homepage and found the malicious JavaScript before we did. This triggered the “OMG, this site is evil”-button in Google on monday evening and we got blacklisted. When you look for our website in Google now you will see that Google thinks that “this site may harm your computer”. (more…)

Long time no blog

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

The last two weeks were pretty busy with client work so we didn’t have much time for the blog. Four posts in two weeks is way too few. The coming week will be a bit quieter though, so we can spare some more time for the blog again. Some of the stuff that happened the last two weeks:

  • We got some new clients from Curacao for the web design department and had a lot of requests for quotes. So far, this month is looking very good 🙂
  • When analyzing the statistics data of our latest redesign (Dive Operator Caribbean Sea Sports) it turns out that their first month with the new design is their best month so far in terms of visitors and search engine referrals. The amount of search engine referrals has actually doubled this first month. How’s that for a return on investment!
    The coming week we’re going to train two of their instructors on how to use their blog and we’re really expecting great things there.
  • Dragonfly Media’s website is the most visited website in the Netherlands Antilles according to Alexa (for an explanation of their biased information see our article on Alexa’s idiosyncrasy). dgfmedia number 1 of the Antilles

Web 2.0 and your SEO strategy

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

P.J. Fusco wrote an article for clickz.com a while ago about Web 2.0 and how it affects your SEO strategy. We saw it today (yeah, shame on us, we’ve been busy) and I think it sums up some of the key reasons for incorporating Web 2.0 concepts in your website.

To succeed on the Web today, you must engage your visitors so they return repeatedly. Toward this end, some Web 2.0 platforms could be your site’s savior; others could be its online demise. Either way, much of the discovery depends on your search channel.

This article will be old news for people in the know, but the people that are just starting out in the wild and wonderful world of SEO and Web 2.0 will find this very interesting. Here’s the link again: How Web 2.0 Affects your SEO Strategy.

domain-names

Archive for the ‘Domain names’ Category

Moving a domain to a different server (3/3)

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

During most of the previous the client won’t have to do anything. It only becomes interesting for the client when the nameservers are changed and the change is being propagated through the internet.

The way most people set up their Outlook, Thunderbird or similar mail client is to enter names for the POP- and SMTP-server. These will be names like pop.yourdomain.com and smtp.yourdomain.com. During the propagation there will be a moment during which pop.yourdomain.com will point to, for instance, 1.1.1.1 and the next moment it will point to 2.2.2.2. After the change you will not be able to receive the e-mails from 1.1.1.1 because the name does not point there anymore.
(more…)

Moving a domain to a different server (2/3)

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

This is the second installment (of three) of a series about moving the hosting for a domain name to a different server. For some reason we still hear from clients that they couldn’t see their website or get their emails for days because the hosting of their website was changed. This does not have to be the case!!

This installment is specifically for those brave souls that try to understand how they should set this up for their clients. These are the on-line warriors that call themselves systems administrators. Well…., aspiring systems administrators because an educated systems administrators would start jawning after the third paragraph.
(more…)

Moving a domain to a different server (1/3)

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Sometimes we get a little carried away when writing about something we feel strongly about. As a web developer I can ramble on for hours about how to best set up a PHP application and Oscar will defend a design he loves till death. The article I just finished writing is one of those articles that you want to keep short, but becomes too long because there is so much you want to convey. For this reason we will split it in three parts and post the parts separately. This is installment no. 1, the basic explanation of the setup of a domain and its hosting.
(more…)

Are you the master of your domain?

Friday, February 9th, 2007

A domain name is a technical construct, but it is also an administrative entity. When someone registers a domain name he/she has to register the owner and the contacts associated with the name. These contacts are the administrative contact, the billing contact and the technical contact.

When you want to have (created) a website for your company you will need a domain name. You can register the domain name yourself or you can let the company that builds your website register it for you. When you register the domain name yourself, there’s usually no problem, but problems can arise when you let someone else register your domain name.
(more…)

2007/02

Archive for February, 2007

Panama Puts Yahoo Back in the Race

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

By Andy Beal
Source: Businessweek.com

If you’ve watched any professional motor sport, you’ve likely witnessed the following scenario. The early leader loses ground to other racers as his car’s tires begin wearing out or the engine starts smoking. A pit stop will initially cause the driver to fall even further behind. But ultimately the time taken under the care of mechanics helps the driver pull back into the lead. If the Web’s search engine industry is the race track, Yahoo has just taken a timely pit stop to try and win back ground lost against the new leader, Google.

On Feb. 5, Yahoo! (YHOO) started moving all of its paid search advertisers over to a new ranking model, informally known as “Panama.” The aim: Gain some much-needed momentum on Google’s more widely used AdWords platform.

It took Yahoo many months to create the new model, effectively rebuilding the system it acquired with the $1.6 billion purchase of Overture Services. Although Panama is just getting off the ground, there’s reason to believe this time in the pit has done Yahoo good (more…)

Top 10 SEO Mistakes and What to Do to Correct It

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Source: Entireweb.com

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of methods aimed at improving the ranking of a website in search engine listings. (Wikipedia)

This definition of SEO sounds simple, but beware! Search engine optimization is a minefield, even for professionals, and although necessary to a business, should not be undertaken lightly. Below, is a brief look at the top 10 mistakes and how to correct them.

1. Non-Relevant Linkage.
External links to your site play a large part in most of the major search engine algorithms and can be considered an endorsement of your site. But if you are being linked to from sites that have no relevance to your content, then that is now considered a negative endorsement and will not raise your ranking in the search engines. Ensure all links to your pages are from relevant sites. Be wary of link builders who acquire links from gambling, pharmaceutical or adult themed sites, especially if your site is not of the same theme. Link building is as much a science as it is an art, one we take very seriously. (more…)

Organic search traffic: Conversion, not position

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

By Philippe Suchet, Philippe Suchet, Kefta

Every day, millions of people type keywords into a search engine, follow a link and land on a marketer’s Web site.
Most people will think I’m talking about pay-per-click campaigns, but did you know that 87 percent of commercial traffic comes from organic search? Though the majority of consumers come to your site from an organic search link, few marketers create a strategic organic search program. Last year, marketers spent eight times more money on paid search than they did on organic search. In essence, marketers spent nearly $6 billion on a minority of their search traffic while they nearly ignored the majority.
So far, most marketers who have taken on an organic search campaign view the strategy as quantity – they write content with a bunch of keywords and links on their site and hope crawlers rank it as high as possible. Improving these campaigns typically means boosting their site’s position in the rankings, instead of focusing on converting visitors who come from organic search links. But is this the right strategy?
(more…)

Moving a domain to a different server (2/3)

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

This is the second installment (of three) of a series about moving the hosting for a domain name to a different server. For some reason we still hear from clients that they couldn’t see their website or get their emails for days because the hosting of their website was changed. This does not have to be the case!!

This installment is specifically for those brave souls that try to understand how they should set this up for their clients. These are the on-line warriors that call themselves systems administrators. Well…., aspiring systems administrators because an educated systems administrators would start jawning after the third paragraph.
(more…)

Eef Photography wins local contest

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Eef PhotographyDragonfly Media’s preferred partner for photography services, Eef Photography, has won the photography contest of Antillaans Dagblad. The subject matter of the contest had to be the Curacao Carnival’s Gran Marcha which took place last sunday. Eef Ouwehand’s picture of Darlen Manuela got raving reviews from the judges and the general public.

Hitwise monthly travel category report

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

The Hitwise monthly travel category report for January 2007 is in.

Hitwise monitors statistics and search engines to create specialized reports about certain on-line markets. This specific report is about the popularity of travel(-related) websites and specific search phrases people use to find travel websites.

You can download the report from hospitalitynet.org.

Moving a domain to a different server (1/3)

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Sometimes we get a little carried away when writing about something we feel strongly about. As a web developer I can ramble on for hours about how to best set up a PHP application and Oscar will defend a design he loves till death. The article I just finished writing is one of those articles that you want to keep short, but becomes too long because there is so much you want to convey. For this reason we will split it in three parts and post the parts separately. This is installment no. 1, the basic explanation of the setup of a domain and its hosting.
(more…)

When to get yourself a new website?

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

There are companies that want a new website every two years (sometimes even every one year) and there are companies that stick with their website for years/decades on end. Why fix it when it isn’t broken?

The ‘problem’ with websites is that companies usually don’t understand the inner workings of their website. They may like a design and feel that the design accurately reflects their marketing message, but they don’t always know what their clients think, how their clients are using their website and if the website is being found through search engines. Most important of all, they usually don’t know how (in)effective their website is in bringing them revenue.
(more…)

Whether to ask the hotel, or hit the web.

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Source: NYTimes.com

WITH more hotels guaranteeing equal or better prices to travelers who book with them directly, online travel agency Web sites like Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity aren’t always the bargain bins they once were for hotel rates. In response, the agency sites are forced to concentrate on other ways to keep and attract customers.

It used to be that you would book through an online agency because of the savings,” which for one night “could have been upward of $30,” said Lorraine Sileo, an analyst at PhoCusWright, an online travel consulting and research company. The cheaper rates often came with stricter cancellation policies and requirements for full payment when booking. Travelers accepted those conditions because the savings were significant.

“That was yesteryear,” Ms. Sileo said. During the travel slump after the Sept. 11 attacks, hotels were eager to work with discount and travel agency sites to fill rooms. But now that the economy is stronger, the hotel companies have been working to cut out the middleman. (more…)

Hotel Web sites scroll to the top in customer satisfaction

Monday, February 19th, 2007

By Jonathan Barsky and Lenny Nash
Source: HSMAI.org

The Market Metrix Hospitality Index, which is based on 35,000 consumer interviews conducted each quarter, includes a variety of measures about the hotel-reservation experience, both online and offline. This data provides special insight into the growing popularity of Web site usage and the satisfaction with the online experience.

The growth of online booking as a percentage of overall reservations continues to grow dramatically. More people are booking online and less people are booking through central-reservations telephone numbers and offline travel agencies. For example, over the past three years, Best Western International has seen online bookings grow from between 10 percent to 15 percent of overall traffic to around 40 percent today. At Choice Hotels International, nearly 60 percent of reservations now come from online bookings.
(more…)

2007/03

Archive for March, 2007

Matt Cutts hacked?

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

I don’t know if this is an April Fools action or real, but it does look pretty real on the face of it. Matt Cutts’ blog got hacked, apparently by a group of French “SEOs” who call themselves the “Dark Seo Team” (you can deduce the URL yourself).

Strange thing though; the apparent hackers don’t mention it on their own website. You’d think they’d mention it if they also so blatantly put it on Matt’s homepage. Beside this, these guys are French so they would have done it somewhere around 05 AM local time in France. On a saturday night most people are either asleep or drunk around that time. So, maybe it is an April Fools stunt and everybody can rest easy. If not, good luck Matt!

Matt’s last post was about him complaining that his website got slow because of a lot of GET requests. A coincidence? I don’t know….

Update 4/2: today Matt admitted that it was an April Fool’s stunt.

Steve Jobs on life

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

It’s the middle of the weekend and right now I don’t want to write anything about SEO, the hospitality business nor Curacao. This one is more about life in general and specifically the way Steve Jobs (Apple, Pixar,etc) sees it. Check it out for yourself at video.google.com.

ON-LINE CREATIVE STRATEGY

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Source: stephengates.com
The single largest problem that continues to hinder interactive design from really coming into it’s own is the fact that designers allow their work to be led more by technology or production techniques and not creative thinking.

As a creative director I have had tons of interactive portfolios come across my screen over the years and I see the same problem over and over again. Unfortunately most of this work has been produced in Macromedia Flash and that technology has taken a huge amount of criticism over the years. I personally believe that pointing to Flash as the reason for ineffective web design makes about as much sense as blaming paper for creating junk mail or the telephone for creating the solicitors who call during dinner. The fault should fall to the designers who have not taken the time to use a creative strategy as the basis of their work. (more…)

The best things in life are free

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

We love stuff that’s free (who doesn’t). Lately we’ve been looking at all kinds of software to improve and quantify our efficiency. So, when people love free stuff and need software, where do they go? Yes, the website of websites when it comes to Open Source software: sourceforge.net.

One of the, for us, most useful pieces of software we found at SourceForge is a CRM system called SugarCRM (www.sugarforge.org). We’ve tried out some others, but this one seems to comply best with our wishes (web-based, PHP/MySQL, dedicated CRM, large capacity for contact details, customisable and not too cumbersome). We’ll be implementing it for everybody here soon so watch out competition 😉

Another good tip for free ’software’ is the website www.netvibes.com. This website falles in the catgeory “ultimate startpage”. After you have signed up for the service you can customise your personal startpage with all kinds of functionality and content. On my personal startpage I have my bookmarks, normal search and blog search, my “to do” list, a gmail checker and the RSS feeds from my favorite blogs. And when it becomes too crowded I can also create new tabbed pages with more specialised content. So now when I open my browser in the morning I have one handy page with most of what I want to know right in front of me and with a few simple clicks I can see even more.

If you have more handy software tips, put them in the comments with this article.

Five reasons consumers don’t book travel online

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Source: www.hotelmarketing.com

Despite improved customer-satisfaction ratings at several e-commerce companies, online travel sites still suffer from security , performance and customer perception woes that cause potential travelers to put down their mouse and pick up the phone to book trips.

Forrester Research found that in the light of recent survey data those who book travel continue to resist the Web as their main resource for making reservations. The research firm polled about 5,330 North American consumers in the last quarter of 2006 to determine exactly what prevents them from putting their faith in online travel sites. To start, the top-three most common reasons for those who book travel not to stay online to make reservations include concern over credit-card security, Web-site performance issues and limits on the actions they could take online. (more…)

The sum is more than its parts

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

One of the things that we sometimes find difficult is the fact that it can be difficult to work together with other companies and/or project groups. This week however, was a very good week for cooperation so far. Yesterday a competitor of ours (Spin Webdesign) helped us with some work we needed to do for a company that is also a client of theirs. And today we closed a cooperation deal between two clients of ours (ekvandoorne.com and investcuracao.com).

The people of the Curacao law firm VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne will be supplying the website investcuracao.com with editorials about current legal affairs, in particular editorials about constitutional affairs from a legislative and legal point of view. By doing this they add value to investcuracao.com, showcase themselves as experts within this field and help their own website with quality links.

All this cooperation makes us feel all postitive about doing business on Curacao.

Tripadvisor on your site?

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

For the people who do not know Tripadvisor: Tripadvisor is one of the largest travel communities on the web. On their website travellers can write reviews of destinations and hospitality businesses (mainly hotels). A positive review on Tripadvisor is the ultimate testimonial.

Tripadvisor now also gives hotels the opportunity to post the Tripadvisor reviews on their own website. The technology involved is a tiny bit of HTML-code which hotels can easily implement in their website. Through this code the latest reviews (positive and negative) are shown on the hotel’s website.

“TripAdvisor is the largest source of travel information anywhere, and our new distribution initiative sets out to make it the largest source of travel information everywhere,” said Christine Petersen, senior vice president of marketing for TripAdvisor. “Consumers today value and seek out the opinions of people like themselves who have already lived the experience they’re considering.”

We wonder which hotel on Curacao will be the first one to show its self-confidence and put these reviews on their website…

Search Engine Optimization and your business

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

Today I came across an interesting article in which the author sums up why SEO is not only important for “the big boys”, but also for smaller companies. And, even more importantly, how an SEO strategy can help your business. “Obtain Increased and Higher Quality Sales”, “Brand Recognition”, “Enhanced Credibility and Legitimacy” are just a few of the benefits the author discusses. You can find the article on www.10e20.com.

TripAdvisor Goes Video!

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Source: HSMAI.org

NEEDHAM, Mass., TripAdvisor(R), the largest travel community in the world, now allows travelers to quickly and easily post their vacation videos. TripAdvisor also allows travel marketers to showcase their wares by uploading their videos. Thousands of TripAdvisor travelers already uploaded their videos and hundreds of thousands more viewed them, revealing a strong demand for ever more descriptive ways to tell a story or research a trip.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth a million. Video can convey so much emotion so quickly,” said Christine Petersen, senior vice president of marketing for TripAdvisor. “We’re thrilled to offer the elegance of the written word, the power of candid photos and now the punch of video, so that whatever the experience, our travelers and the hospitality industry alike can share their information most effectively.”
(more…)

More or less text?

Monday, March 12th, 2007

The people that have to deal with the contents of a website invariably come across one of the most annoying dilemmas around.

On the one hand they need to write clear, concise and short texts because the people that visit the website in question want to know what’s going on in an instant. They don’t want to read pages and pages of text if they don’t have to. On the other hand; the search engines need text to be able to figure out what your website is about and the more text there is, the more they have to form their ‘opinion’ and the more words you might be found with. So, how do you deal with this.

The general way of dealing with this dilemma is to try to satisfy both parties and, even more importantly, not to ‘annoy’ either of the parties. Some content managers make very short pages with “read more” links and others create longer pages with a summary in the beginning and a longer explanation below. Both forms have something going for them, although we prefer the second way of handling content.

Besides this, it would be wise to consider the audience. If you cater your website to a specific group of people who are actually interested in what you have to say (as opposed to people you want to sell something to) you can make your texts longer because your audience will read what you write until the last syllable. If you want to sell something to a ‘casual’ passer-by on the other hand you need to grab his/her attention quickly and guide him/her in the right direction fast. So, for this group you need a short page or a catchy summary of what you want to say.