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DBS Telecoms Billing Platform

DBS launched its own state of the art billing platform in August 2008 which means DBS telecoms clients will have faster connection times for new numbers and smoother customer service.

"We are looking forward to handling every aspect of telecoms from connecting new numbers to billing all under one roof" said partner Christine Barron, "owning our own billing platform gives us the flexibility we need to improve our customer service and increase our share in a competitive marketplace."

The DBS billing platform will handle 0800, 0845, 0871 and 0844 numbers plus UK local phone numbers for 470 towns and cities and thousands of international cities.

Agree? Disagree? Do let Matthew Rayner know what you think by commenting below.

Product of the month: Call Whisper

Call Whisper is a neat new feature that lets you know instantly when your 0800, 0845 and 0844 numbers are being used.

When a customer rings your 0800, 0845, 0871 or 0844 number they will hear the normal ringing tone but, when you pick up the phone to answer the call you will instantly hear a brief message saying, for example, "this is call from your 0800 number."

If you have an 08 prefix number pointed at your mobile this would be a great way to distinguish between personal or business calls so that you didn't answer the phone with "hello" but a business type greeting ie "thanking you for calling ABC Limited. How may I help you?"

If you use multiple 08 prefix numbers to monitor and track each and every one of your adverts then call whisper will help too. For example we can programme a message such as “this is a call from the 0800 number in the Leeds Yellow Pages.

Agree? Disagree? Do let Matthew Rayner know what you think by commenting below.

Internet Marketing Secrets: domain name strategy

If you haven’t registered a domain name for a new website that you are planning then give it some thought. Although you should be spending time and effort building inbound links to your site you will find that you may naturally attract links without asking for them. The majority of people who link to you without asking will use your web address whether it’s an internal page or your home page.

This is where good domain name planning now will pay massive dividends in the future. Let me explain…..

You can select a domain name that contains your keywords. Your keywords will therefore be in any link you didn’t ask to get and act as anchor text. Use dashes in your domain names sparingly – one at most - otherwise you run the risk of having search engines believing you are trying to manipulate them. They don’t like that and you may be penalised.

Examples of keyword rich domains are:


http://www.toplawfirms.co.uk/
http://www.plasterboardrecycling.co.uk/




Similarly, give some thought to the file names you give your pages. The file name is the web address of a particular page eg:


www.nottinghamhousecleaners.co.uk/carpetcleaning

If someone gave a link to your web site from theirs using the file name above then you can see it would be rammed full of juicy keywords. The clickable text in a link is vitally important to search engines and it’s a smart idea to get your keywords in the links coming in to your site. The search engine’s spiders will love to see this structure which makes it clear to them what the particular page is all about.

This also brings us neatly to the topic of domain name ageing.
 
Search engines are very, very suspicious of brand new sites on brand new domains. There is a good reason for this suspicion as it is quite simple to steal the content of a well respected website and place it onto another.

You probably won’t achieve much in the way of search engine results for three to six months if you launch a brand new site on a brand new domain. In our experience if you do achieve any rankings in search engines in the first few months it normally won’t be for the hottest keyphrases you have optimised your web site for. This can be infuriating. But don’t despair - there is a painless way around this situation.

The solution is to register a domain and develop a simple one page site well in advance of your intended launch date. If you have a project in mind then register the domain and build a one page mini site. It doesn’t have to be a work of art. It needn’t contain boatloads of copy but you should include your keywords in the copy and page title.

The next step is to let search engines know about the site. To do this create a link from a site you know is frequently spidered and point the link at your mini -site pointed at it.

This will let the search engines know about the domain and your site – by the time you launch, your domain will be well aged, your site will have been crawled by spiders a few times and you will minimise the time period you are viewed with suspicion. It’s all about planning.

Remember – we aren’t trying to trick search engines – we’re trying to make it obvious to them what our web pages are all about.

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool

Google Adwords has updated their Keyword Search Tool which now returns approximate search volume statistics.

The secret of attracting traffic to a website is to carry out sound keyword research. If you build a website that reflects the actual terms that people type into search engines then you will have a massive advantage over your competition. It’s a hackneyed phrase but if you carry out the correct research you can “reverse engineer” your website.

If you sell widgets on line then an obvious keyword for you to use would be “widgets”. However, there will be a multitude of other associated search terms that you will need to know about to either include in your pay per click campaign or to optimise your web pages for. If you enter the seed word “widget” into the Google keyword tool then you will obtain a list of all associated search terms that have been typed into the Google search box.

Google’s new keyword tool will tell you approximate search statistics for the previous calendar month and an overall average.


It is slightly disappointing to have “approximate averages” from Google and not hard data, as there may be some grey areas in the results.


There are many other keyword research tools available on the internet so it would be wise to compare the results with another programme before making decisions on which keywords to use in your internet marketing campaign. Keyword tools are usually purchased on an annual subscription basis.

Google’s new keyword tool has the advantage of being free and is suitable for SEO beginners.

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

Google: 5 things you didn’t know it could do…..

The Google search engine at www.google.co.uk has a few tricks up its sleeve that you may not know about. These nifty tools and features may save you time and effort that can be spent on more profitable or rewarding tasks.


Google Conversion Tool
The nifty search engine has its own in built converter. Try typing into the Google search box “4ft 6in in metres” or “23c in Fahrenheit” and you will get an instant conversion. Move your calculator to the bottom drawer of your desk or throw your slide rule out of the window. If you don’t know what a slide rule is then Google it – you will be amazed at how your ancestors worked in the old days.





Google Calculator
Similarly, your old friend Google can act as a calculator. Try typing in “43% of 92” and in the twinkle of an eye receive instant enlightenment. Where was this while I was doing my GCSE’S?


Google Currency Converter
You know what’s coming don’t you. Type “£123 in US$” and be amazed with the instant currency conversion.

Google News
Visit http://news.google.co.uk (you don’t need the “www” bit) to visit a bang up to date computer generated news site. The Google news site aggregates headlines from over 4,500 English language news sources on the planet. You can ask the site to group news stories together according to your particular interests. An archive section is navigable from the top of the site which lets you look back through history. I typed in “Titanic” in the archives search box and was able to instantly download a PDF of the actual front page of the New York Times from April 12th 1912.

Google Mobile
Download Google Maps for mobile from free by visiting the Google UK website at www.google.co.uk/gmm. I downloaded the software straight onto the desktop of my PC and then hooked up my mobile to my PC with the bit of cable that my mobile phone manufacturer gave me in the box it came with. I think this would prove quicker and easier for most people than getting online with your mobile and downloading directly. Download times to mobiles still seem dreadfully slow to me.

Most mobile phones that are less than 3 years old will operate Google Maps. With Google Maps loaded onto your mobile you will never get lost when walking or driving in any UK city although software specifies that it should not be used when driving (who would think of such a thing?).

Many mobile phones come with GPS all ready installed. GPS stands for “global positioning system” and lets you know exactly where you are on the face of the earth through satellite technology. You can enter a start and end point for any road journey and be supplied with detailed directions. Another nifty feature is that you can specify a start and end point and find the best way to make this journey on public transport.

Going by foot in a strange city is now a breeze.

It’s clear to me that this functionality is a direct competitor to satellite navigation. The only real difference I can see is that you don’t receive verbal instructions. This doesn’t bother me – I can get those at home.

It’s possible to add your favourites to Google Maps such as home, irritating relatives in Berkshire or Big Dave’s Bar & Grill.

Hope these nifty features will help you in the office and on your travels.

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.