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Published on January 11, 2013
A recent study by Forrester Research has made the case for a single standardised web browser for internet users. The argument for this is that there are hidden costs involved in having multiple non-standardised browsers.
Of the 113 IT professionals who were surveyed, nearly all of them (96%) said they standardise on a single browser for use on work PC’s. Enterprises are now deciding whether to support non-standard browsers as the report suggests it can be costly. According to the firms which offered a multiple browser strategy, 86% experienced on average, more than a 20% cost increase. This means that firms can end up spending around $4000 extra for each web app which is developed for multiple browsers.
The report is however biased since it was commissioned by Microsoft, whose latest web browser, Internet Explorer 10 was released in August 2012 and is the default browser of Windows 8. While the report is limited in its view, it omits any mention to mobile usage, although it has been noted that Microsoft has integrated extensive support for HTML5 on its Windows Phone 8 system.
A breakdown of the Forrester Research results
The results from the survey indicate that while an overwhelming 96% use a standardised single browser for work PC’s, 51% said that their company has enforced this standard by removing admin rights and locking down PC’s. 32% of IT professionals mentioned that there’s a single standardised browser, but they allow employees to install an alternative browser which the company will support if possible.
Meanwhile 13% said yes but that employees can install an alternative browser that isn’t supported by the company, if they so wish. 2% indicated that they had no plans to have a company standardised browser either now or in the future and the final 2% said no, but that this might change at some point in the future.
The costs of running and supporting multiple browsers can be costly for some businesses, especially during times of financial hardship when many companies are cutting back or have limited resources. Alongside these high security costs which are associated with non-standard browsers, app compatibility is another factor which many companies have to take into consideration.
Every time a web browser is updated, it may no longer work well with particular apps. All of these apps need to be tested for their compatibility, which can vary from browser to browser. Extensive testing is therefore required. This can cause complications due to update schedules varying from browser to browser. Companies will therefore need to follow a few guidelines on how to keep in budget and what to expect should they choose to use multiple web browsers.
As internet usage becomes increasingly more mobile and the presence of apps dominates the market, this is going to become more of a contentious issue. Therefore companies looking to enhance their web presence will have to analyse if a single standard browser is the right choice for them.
Published on January 4, 2013
Tags: Internet Communication
Are you using Google+ yet, for either business or leisure? Google’s social media site has now introduced 18 new features to make them stand out against other social media networks. These new features are based around photos, mobile, hangouts and much more.
While some may have written off Google+ as a ghost town, this is an unfair assessment. The social networking site now boasts over 400 million members, 100 million of which are active monthly members. If your business isn’t on Google+ you could be missing out on a valuable way of connecting with your market.
Thankfully these new features that Google+ have introduced provide some great enhancements to Google+’s core functionality and will encourage users to engage much more with the website than they would have previously. The additional features have been added in to enhance the mobile experience of using Google+, a wise move given that the future of the internet is becoming increasingly mobile driven.
What are the new Google+ features?
One of the biggest additions has to be the ‘Link’ button which makes sharing links to blog posts really easy. Meanwhile their Photo button makes capturing your images on the go more convenient. Another addition is the ‘Check-in’ button which allows you to update where your current location is. Location based social media sharing is a big part of social sharing, so it’s a clever move by Google+ who are looking for new ways to connect people.
If you use the Google+ app on your iPhone you’ll notice that on iOS which is the new version, you can swipe through photos albums in a line, so all you have to do is tap the screen once to view them. It also lets the user pan across the screen or zoom in slowly to view pictures. The comments section underneath photos will also look different because it now shows other users your content from small snippets of text to long comments.
The ‘Communities’ feature is a recent addition too and it’s designed as a replacement for the old school groups, forums and message boards. The Communities feature allows users to set up their own place. It’s different to facebook’s profile pages for businesses and is much more like Yahoo! Groups, allowing members to set up their own profile place to discuss their hobbies or interests whether that’s football, technology or world events, etc.
Google+ Communities gives users the option of creating a community for example about music and then creating a number of sub-categories within this such as ‘Jazz’, ‘Pop’, ‘Country’ and ‘Heavy Metal’ to name just a few. You also have the option of subscribing to any updates from your favourite circles. You can receive mobile notifications from these and the purpose is to encourage more interaction with Google+ Communities on your mobile and tablet devices.
These are just some of the interesting features which Google+ have integrated into their site to make sharing social media even easier and more exciting.
If you’ve ever wondered if a blog is worth the hassle to your business, you should check out online retailer ZAGG whose blog has given them a 172% ROI while earning them 10% of the company’s website traffic according to a recent MarketingSherpa.com article.
If you want to emulate their success, you need to understand a few factors around why they have earned such great results and how the blog alone is a great return on investment.
The first thing you need to do is to focus on sales. ZAGG’s blog isn’t shy about promoting their products which in their case is electronic goods and accessories for items such as iPhones, iPads, digital cameras, etc.
By writing about their products in great detail, it allows their target market to decide for themselves what they will buy, based on the advice and recommendations presented in the blog. This makes ZAGG appear knowledgeable and trustworthy as it establishes them as a ‘voice in the know’ when it comes to selling electronic goods.
Produce regular content
The second factor to consider is that to be successful you have to get blogging regularly. This is what ZAGG did as they only started the blog in January 2011 and the idea was to start with a three-month pilot to see how it went. They soon realised, every time they posted a blog, their website traffic increased and so did their sales.
The next step is to take your content viral and share updates about the blog on social media channels like Facebook, twitter and Google+. ZAGG did this by understanding their audience’s preferences and over time created and published different types of posts including news, how to posts, along with entertaining or promotional posts.
Interact with your audience
If you can engage your core market with your brand by getting them to read informative blog posts produced by your website, it will increase sales. You need to encourage your readers to shop with you too however, as getting them to read and share your blog posts isn’t enough – you need to convert these leads into sales.
The best ways to do this is to display adverts on your online shop, buttons which promote products, deals, etc. It’s also a good idea to use a graphic on the blog homepage and on every post so that visitors can tell that they’re on your official blog, which establishes trust between your brand and your target market.
Selective email marketing is one approach which ZAGG has utilised to increase their sales. They selectively promote their posts between their Facebook and twitter pages, so the email content showcases their best posts. It’s working for ZAGG as their content emails give them an 82% higher click-to-open rate than their promotional emails.
Finally, it’s important not to overdo the SEO. Increasing your website traffic is more about creating compelling content that a web visitor can’t help but click on.
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