Northeast Business Directory

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Browser Statistics

Browser Statistics – November 2010

The web browser statistics have been released through November 2010. The stats are published monthly at W3CSchools.com.

Below are the web browser stats for November 2010.

2010 IE9 IE8 IE7 IE6
November .4% 17.6% 6.5% 4.1%
October .4% 17.3% 7.2% 4.8%
September .2% 17.3% 8.0% 5.6%
August 16.2% 7.8% 6.7%
July 15.6% 7.1% 7.2%
June 15.7% 8.1% 7.2%
May 16.0% 9.1% 7.1%
April 16.2% 9.3% 7.9%
March 15.3% 10.7% 8.9%
February 14.7% 11.0% 9.6%
January 14.3% 11.7% 10.2%
2010 Firefox Chrome Safari Opera
November 44% 20.5% 4% 2.3%
October 44.1% 19.2% 3.9% 2.2%
September 45.1% 17.3% 3.7% 2.2%
August 45.8% 17% 3.5% 2.3%
July 46.4% 16.7% 3.4% 2.3%
June 46.6% 15.9% 3.6% 2.1%
May 46.9% 14.5% 3.5% 2.2%
April 46.4% 13.6% 3.7% 2.2%
March 46.2% 12.3% 3.7% 2.2%
February 46.5% 11.6% 3.8% 2.1%
January 46.3% 10.8% 3.7% 2.2%

In summary, IE9 hasn’t made a big impact quite yet, but as you can see by the numbers of previous versions of IE, Explorer users are slowing making their way up to the latest version. Firefox, Safari and Opera are holding steady at their user percentages, but Google Chrome is steadily rising in popularity.

The U.S. Library of Congress

The U.S. Library of Congress Website

Back in February 2010, inConcert released a website for its first client of political status, Citizens for John Olver for Congress. The website was warmly received by Congressman Olver and his representatives that worked with us to produce it. From that website project, we were able to provide their campaign team with designs for other promotional campaign materials such as palm cards and t-shirts. Recently, Congressman Olver’s Chief of Staff, Hunter Ridgway, whom we worked closely with to complete the site, notified us that the website has been selected by The United States Library of Congress to be included in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the 2010 U. S. National Election.

The Library of Congress acquires, catalogs, preserves and offers a collection of United States artifacts to the Congress and the American people. This now includes digital materials such as websites. The Library will be archiving various portions of the site and will be making the collection of archives available to researchers and other scholarly individuals. In addition, they will make it more broadly available by hosting the archive collection on its public access website.

Technology is improving at a rapid pace and digital materials such as websites may never be printed out for historic record, which is why the Web Archives at The United States Library of Congress are so important going forward. This allows the accurate documentation of historic events and records that might never be put into print. We are proud to say that we have one of our pieces in these Web Archives and we thank the Citizens for John Olver for Congress, Congressman Olver and his representatives for the opportunity to work with them on this project.

Email Etiquette

Using an Email Marketing Service is More Favorable Than Simply Using Outlook

Email Marketing is an incredibly valuable tool for your business to reach your current customers and retain your current customer base.  Use email marketing as an effective way to grow sales as well; providing you take care not to turn off the customer.

The following are some examples of things you should and should not do with regard to email marketing.

  • Use an email marketing service such as Constant Contact.
  • When using email marketing services do not send emails more than twice a month if you are in a business-to- business environment.  If you are in a business-to-consumer environment than email no more than 3 times a month.  Sending too many emails to your customer base will force them to opt out.
  • Email marketing services actually protect you from the federal laws associated with the Can Spam Act allowing your subscribers to opt out and never receive future emails from you.  If you do not use an email marketing service and you use something like Outlook to send email messages and the person replies to that message asking you to opt them out and you do not comply with that request then you are subject to heavy fines by the federal government.
  • If you choose to use Outlook to send your emails do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT put all the email addresses in the “To” field.  This exposes all of the email addresses to the entire list and anybody can choose “Reply All” or copy all the email addresses for their own address book.  This is a very dangerous practice.
    If you must use Outlook email to send a mass email, send to no more than 50 people at a time and put all 50 addresses in the “BCC” field.  The “To” field should be addressed to yourself.  This protects your email addresses and other people cannot get them.
  • Your Subject Line is incredibly important.  You must have a valuable Subject Line in order for people to open the email and read it.  If you do not have a valuable subject line people will just discard it and, in fact, Spam blockers may actually put the email right into the Spam or Junk folder.
  • Expectations.  You need to set expectations and understand what the average number of responses are for your industry.  In general, an “open rate” of 20% is a good open rate in email marketing.  Business-to-Consumer and retail-type outlets can get a higher open rate because people are looking for specials and savings & opportunities like that.  However, it’s incredibly important that you monitor your open rate; you cannot do that using a service like Outlook.  Email marketing services, like Constant Contact,  do have statistics provided to you in your control panel that show you the open rate and the “Click Through” rate.
  • When doing email marketing offer something of value to your customer base. Offer a special, offer a discount, or an email club-only discount.  Create a unique value proposition and use that so that your customer base feels like they are getting something in return for actually spending the time to open your email.  They may not want your offer at this time; however, at least you are making an offer to them & asking them to do something.  You need to tell people what you want them to do and using email marketing to actually accomplish things; as an example, announcing a special event or announcing a Grand Opening or offering a new product at a discount is an incredibly valuable tool!

In summary when using email marketing, know who your audience is, use an email marketing service, monitor the results through statistics and do it with consistency.  If you are looking to do email marketing and would like a free consultation, we encourage you to contact inConcert Web Solutions. We’ll be happy to walk you through the process or even do it for you.

As a small business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate; keeping up with bills, hiring qualified employees, ensuring profitability, all the while you’re trying to maintain a decent reputation and attract new business prospects. I want you to ask yourself this question, “How do I want my company to be perceived?” Do you want people to look at you as a polished company with professional employees, or maybe you want your funky character to shine through letting prospects feel as though you are cool, laid back and easy to talk to? Either way, your branding is of vital importance in portraying your business character, yet this is something that many small business owners don’t put enough time and energy into.

Say you’re looking for a reputable lawyer to assist you with your upcoming real estate transaction; you obviously want to find someone who has a good track record, who’s professional, and who can get the job done. Simply based on the two logos provided below, which law firm would you choose to go with?

Law Logos

Based on Logo Only, Which Firm Would You Choose?

I assume you probably said The Law Office of David Rocheford. Why is that? In theory, John Smith could be just as good of a lawyer as Mr. Rocheford, but the way that he represents his business is not. John Smith’s logo is an obvious piece of clipart, with harsh colors and no type treatment. It seems as though the logo was thrown together in a matter of minutes, which makes me wonder…is this how Mr. Smith conducts his business as well?

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “That’s ridiculous, I would never have to make a decision like that based on a logo alone. I’d do my research and if John Smith had a better track record, who cares what his logo looks like?” You may be right. However, IF you do your research and find that company A is better than company B, then by all means, choose company A. But you may not realize how much company identity sways your decisions in your everyday life.

When you spend money on something, you want to get the best quality for your money, right? Well, if your branding is perceived as cheap looking, the potential customer will confidently assume that the product/service will be just as cheap. Will that always be the case? Absolutely not, but like it or not, this is how the human mind works. You must put yourself in the position of a potential buyer and say to yourself, “If I knew nothing about my company and I was on the outside looking in, would I buy or move on to the next candidate?”

Closed for Thanksgiving

We will be closed starting Thanksgiving Day through the weekend.

inConcert Web Solutions will be closed beginning on Thanksgiving Day through the following weekend. Our office will reopen on Monday, November 29. All website maintenance requests and website changes that are requested within this time period will be completed upon our reopening in the order that they were received.

Enjoy your holiday and Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo Gallery

Using a Photo Gallery Can Increase Your SEO Value

One of the simplest ways of updating your website is to update your photo gallery. Photo galleries, in general, provide great search engine benefits to your site. In many cases, as long as the gallery is not built using Flash, adding one image, will create multiple pages on the site for Google to crawl. The more content on your site, the more likely you are to get more traffic.

Here are a few suggestions for how you can use a photo gallery system to make regular updates to your site:

  • Add a new album
  • Add a new photograph or image
  • Edit the caption of an existing image
  • Edit the details of the album
  • Include your ideal keyword search terms in the caption of the image
  • Add multiple images from an event
  • Link from your blog or other pages to the photo gallery

Maintaining your website isn’t the hardest thing to do, finding the time to do it is. So make a plan and include photo gallery management as part of that plan. If you put forth the effort to include this in your plan you will be more likely to add more photos and increase the size of your site, resulting in more traffic and more business.

Browser Statistics

Browser Statistics – October 2010

The web browser statistics have been released through October 2010. The stats are published monthly at W3CSchools.com.

Below are the web browser stats for October 2010.

2010 IE9 IE8 IE7 IE6
October .4% 17.3% 7.2% 4.8%
September .2% 17.3% 8.0% 5.6%
August 16.2% 7.8% 6.7%
July 15.6% 7.1% 7.2%
June 15.7% 8.1% 7.2%
May 16.0% 9.1% 7.1%
April 16.2% 9.3% 7.9%
March 15.3% 10.7% 8.9%
February 14.7% 11.0% 9.6%
January 14.3% 11.7% 10.2%
2010 Firefox Chrome Safari Opera
October 44.1% 19.2% 3.9% 2.2%
September 45.1% 17.3% 3.7% 2.2%
August 45.8% 17% 3.5% 2.3%
July 46.4% 16.7% 3.4% 2.3%
June 46.6% 15.9% 3.6% 2.1%
May 46.9% 14.5% 3.5% 2.2%
April 46.4% 13.6% 3.7% 2.2%
March 46.2% 12.3% 3.7% 2.2%
February 46.5% 11.6% 3.8% 2.1%
January 46.3% 10.8% 3.7% 2.2%

In summary, since IE9 has been released we’re seeing a significant dip in IE7 and IE6 users, which is excellent! IE8 is staying at a steady 17.3% and IE9 users are slowly coming into existence.  We’re seeing a slight decrease of Firefox users by 1% and a 2% jump in Chrome users. Safari, and Opera are at their usual steady 2-3 percentages (yet we’re actually seeing a very slight, gradual increase in  Safari’s popularity, jumping up .1-.2% each month).

Screen Resolution

See the difference between resolutions?

Have you ever been to a website and the site is really small or really big and you have to scroll back and forth and up and down to see everything on the page? Well that all has to do with two major factors, what size the website was originally created in and what screen resolution your computer screen is set for. If you’ve been using computers for some time now, than you are more than likely familiar with the 800 x 600 screen size. As recently as 2003, this was still the most popular screen size and was very popular with web designers for many years. Special care was taken when creating web sites so that they displayed perfectly on monitors using this screen resolution – the web page width was usually 780 pixels (the 20 pixels were reserved for the web browser scroll bar).

However, over the years with increased use of high resolution monitors the number of people using 800 x 600 screen resolutions has gradually fallen. Now less than 1% utilize the 800 x 600 size, and since 2003, 1024 x 768 has been the most popular display setting used.  Over the years, as wider and higher resolution screens have become more affordable, and therefore more prevalent, the use of even higher resolutions has become common place.  Though 1024 x 768 is still #1 (22%), the last two years 1280 x 800 and 1280 x 1024 have started to gain ground, each claiming more than 10% of the market.

In order to keep pace with the ever changing technologies and improvements in quality, speed, resolution, color, screen size, etc., web designers are required to create sites that not only conform to the technology of the day, but be easily upgradeable as the technologies change.  This is one of the main reasons why it is critical when developing any new website that it is built with a content management system in place. Content Management Systems (CMS) utilize databases which mean that the majority of information required to display the website is stored in a database that can efficiently be applied to any compatible website design template. For example, a site designed with a CMS in 2002 with a fixed resolution of 800 x 600 could be “imported” into a brand new 1024 x 768 design, including completely different navigation, colors, layout, etc., therefore helping to keep costs down when keeping the site up to date.

The majority of sites currently developed by inConcert Web Solutions are in the 950 to 1000 pixel width range and most of our websites include a Content Management System built in. In our next article we will discuss some of the decision making processes that go into creating the design and where resolution of graphics, images, and text play a role.

DID YOU KNOW: If you need to zoom in or out on a website you can hit Ctrl + or – on your keyboard to move in and out. Hit Ctrl 0 (zero) to return to normal.

Website Expectations

Be Prepared When Searching for a Web Development Company

As a business owner, you know by now that a web presence in today’s world is a necessity. You could go the cheap route and grab an inexpensive design template with a built-in content management system for a couple hundred dollars. But how well will that templated design represent your company? First impressions are often made on the web and if a potential customer comes across your website and doesn’t connect with it, they will probably stay a potential customer. Here are the main things you need to think about before setting out to get quotes on website development.

Before heading into an initial consult or sales meeting with a web design company, we suggest you map out your needs. The representative will help you make decisions about certain features that you may or may not need, but it’s best to walk in with a basic understanding of what you’re looking for. Here we have outlined the most common website features and the price ranges you can expect to pay for them.

The Basics

Domain Management: A domain name is basically your website address (e.g. www.inConcertWeb.com). Use inConcert’s Domain Search at the bottom of our website to check availability of your desired domain name. Domain Management will usually cost about – annually.

Hosting: In order for your website to be seen, it must be hosted on a server. Depending on your needs, the pricing for hosting varies. Monthly costs for hosting are estimated at the following prices: basic hosting: -, eCommerce: -0, or if you need a dedicated server, the price will jump up to anywhere between 0-,000+. Be aware that if you go with the cheapest hosting company, you might be saving money, but you will not get much for technical assistance if you are to ever need it.

Design: For a custom website design, it is best you seek out an experienced designer or firm that can offer you up-to-date graphics that will give your web presence the ideal look. To save money, you could always ask if they have template options that they can customize for your company, just remember that a custom design will usually represent your company better. Be prepared to pay a designer anywhere between -0 per hour.

Coding and Buildout: The coding stage of your site is where it receives all of its functionality. You’ll want to make sure that you choose a web developer that is up-to-date on coding standards and will produce a website that validates properly. Website coding will be charged at an average of 0-0 per hour. If your site requires programming in more advanced applications such as Flash, be prepared to pay a bit more.

Common Add-ons

Content Development: Professionally written content is key to getting your website found by search engines. Hiring an expert content writer will definitely help with your search engine rankings because they know how to write for your keywords. Content development can run anywhere between -0 per hour.

Content Management System: This is one of the most beneficial website add-ons that you can purchase. A Content Management System (CMS) allows you to make site edits at your own convenience. If you find a major error within your website content and it’s 12:00 in the morning, you can immediately login to your administrative panel and make the changes yourself! Installation of a Content Management system can be anywhere between -0 per hour. Be aware that installing a CMS into an existing website will take more time than installing one into one that is in the process of being coded.

Blog: Though many business owners think they don’t need a blog, it’s because they don’t understand what it does. Blogs are extremely beneficial to your business and are absolutely worth the extra money if you can afford it. A blog installation will cost you 0-0 if it follows the same design template as your current site.

These are the very basic figures that you will need to work into your website cost. There are endless possibilities with additional features such as photo galleries, rotators, newsletter signups, etc. All of these prices really depend upon what firm you are going with and the complexity of the add-on. We hope you found this article to be helpful in your search for a web design resource. For questions about our pricing, please contact us.

Some information in this article was adopted from Mikal E. Belicove’s post “The Cost of Quality” on Entrepenuer Magazine’s website.
Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an Important Tool to Analyze the Effectiveness of Your Website

Google Analytics is fairly well known software created by Google. Analytics, as it is sometimes called, provides website statistics and tracking for an overall understanding of how effective your website is.  We recommend installing Google Analytics onto every website that we create.  Here are a number of reasons why:


  • It’s free to use and to access
  • There are books that have been written about it, so resources exists to learn more
  • There continues to be more and more development and new features coming resulting in an overall better product.
  • It’s made, supported, and developed by an industry giant, Google!
  • It is hands down the best website tracking software on the market, especially for free!

Now that you know why you should get Google Analytics Installed on to your site, here are a few tips to ensure you are using it to its maximum potential:

  • Make sure that the tracking code is on every single page or it won’t track all the pages
  • Exclude your IP Address from the settings so that Analytics is not tracking the clicks from your office
  • Setup multiple goals and funnels, it’s the only way to track what is meaningful.
  • Setup the reporting to email you the pdf each month, this way you don’t have to go looking for it
  • Add any additional users that you want to have access to the reporting

Ok…so you are all setup and configured and you have waited about 30 days and you see all these statistics….but what do they mean?  How do you know if you are doing well or not?

  • It’s too difficult to tell you what a good traffic number is, because each business and each industry is different.  However what I can tell you is that if you are doing the work on your website monthly, then your Unique Visitors should be trending UP.
  • Bounce rate should be between 40% and 60%.  The lower the number the better.
  • Note that bounce rate is determined by looking at what visitors entered on that particular page and failed to go to any other page before leaving the website.
  • Goal numbers should be trending up
  • Time on site should be trending up
  • Trending……..one final note on trending.  It’s not odd to see a drop from one month to another, but when we talk about trending we are talking about 6-12-18 months at a glance.  If you look back over that time, are you trending up.  If you are not, then you need to consider getting some help to fix that.

Happy Analyzing.