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Web Trends Affecting Your Business?
Category: Web Development

Web Trends Affecting Your Business...
By Jim Daniels

Are you doing business online? If so, you'd better read today's article. In it you'll discover a few trends adversely affecting thousands of web businesses. I recently studied the statistical tracking of a few of my websites and the stats revealed some alarming trends. More than likely, these trends are playing a major role in your web marketing success (or failure) too.

Trend #1-: The Popup Blockers Are Winning.

This is probably a good thing. Popups really got out of hand. You know, those annoying pop windows that appear over and over when you're browsing the web? They are indeed going away, albeit slowly.

Why? Well many ISP's are now offering free popup blockers which effectively neutralize these windows. Even google has a popup blocker built into their google toolbar.

This is good news for most folks, but bad news for many marketers -- because popups, when used responsibly, were an effective way to grow an opt-in list. But let's face it, the technology was abused at many sites.

All these readily available popup blockers and the near-death of the popup, necessitate a change in strategies for many established web marketers. I myself used "popunders" at my Make-A-Living-Online.com site and until recently my popunders were responsible for generating 90% of my opt-in subscribers.

But my stats this year showed that it was time for a change. In fact, my popup url's were popping up some 40% less often than they did just a year ago.

The simple change I made has been quite successful. I now offer my newsletter via a "regular" signup form that is visible on my Make A Living Online home page. If you're not already doing this, I suggest you do the same.

If you still like using popups, consider doing what I do. I use a single popunder as a "backup" to attract potential subscribers when visitors leave my site.

This recent shift in my strategy resulted in tripling the number of new subscriber signups I receive, from an average of 40 daily, back up to 125 daily.

Again, any marketers out there who are still relying on popups and popunders only, had better shift gears and get their subscribe forms on their home page.

Trend #2-: Email Delivery Rates Are Near an All-Time Low!

While we're on the subject of opt-in email, here's a another telling stat... According to Time Magazine, between 40-70% of all email is getting killed (Sp@m Filtered) before anyone has a chance to read it.

Well that's great news, right? Considering that 40% of all email is sp@m! But it's not good news if you are a legitimate newsletter publisher.

That's because up to 27% of all permission-based email never makes it to the recipient's inbox.

Sure, something has to be done about the still-growing glut of sp@m. Heck, I get thousands of junk emails a day now. But solutions that block requested email messages are hurting many legitimate businesses.

So what can you do as a web business owner?

Consider using tools that help you get your email through. Tools such as the new one I've begun using -- e-Filtrate. The first time I used it I discovered that I was on three black-lists - and I'm not a sp@mmer! I also use it to examine and reword my emails before sending, and my delivery rates are on the way back up.

Sure, e-Filtrate's not a solution to the problem itself, but it is a way to take back some level of control. And any edge you can get in online business is worth it. At the very least I suggest you go there and pick up the 21-tip report on how to get your legitimate email messages through the sp@m filters.

Trend #3-: Monitors Are Getting Sharper.

Is your website ready for this change that is already in full swing? Do you even know what your site looks like from different monitors?

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Here are the stats showing how screen sizes of my make-a-living-onlne.com visitors have changed over the past 18 months...

February 2003 (sample of 2,000 visitors):
1. 800 x 600 pixels: 52%
2. 1024 x 768 pixels 36%
3. 1280 x 1024 pixels: 4%
4. 640 x 480 pixels: 3%
5. 1152 x 864 pixels: 2%
6. 1600 x 1200 pixels: 1%
7. Other Resolutions: 2%

September 2004 (sample of 30,000 visitors):
1. 1024 x 768 pixels 50%
2. 800 x 600 pixels: 38%
3. 1280 x 1024 pixels: 5%
4. 1152 x 864 pixels: 3%
5. 1600 x 1200 pixels: 1%
6. 640 x 480 pixels: 1%
7. Other Resolutions: 2%

Visitors to your site would likely resemble this sampling as well.

Just four short years ago, 640 x 480 pixel resolution was leading the pack. But the old 15" crt monitors seem to have been relegated to the junk pile. Just 1% of my visitors now use them.

Even 800 x 600 resolution, leader of the pack 18 months ago, is now in second place and falling. The lower cost of flat-screen monitor technology, with their sharper resolution is the reason.

If you have not seen your site with higher resolutions, you may be surprised at what it looks like. I suggest you take time to view your website with different resolutions right now. Here's how...

Windows users:
Click the Start button,
Select Settings,
Select Control Panel,
Double-click on Display,
Click the Settings tab at the top (note the original resolution)
Drag the screen area bar to the desired resolution.

MAC users:
Click the colored apple in the top left,
Choose Control Panels,
Choose Monitor and Sound, Note original resolution,
On resolution, use the drop down selector to set your resolution.

Remember, all your sites need to appear professional from at least these two resolutions which some 88% of visitors are using these days...

1. 1024 x 768 pixels 50%
2. 800 x 600 pixels: 38%

Okay, that's it for today. I hope you've discovered something revealing about your website marketing campaign




 

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