I was lucky enough to get invited to Google HQ in Dublin for a day of training last week. The amount of information Google gave was fantastic. Each session was broke into 30minute blocks with experts from that area in Google. I will add some short posts on what was covered as it may help people understand exactly what Big Brother Google thinks and how they would like us to build our sites.
We were introduced to teams from organic search, adwords, adsense, webmaster and a number of other experts. They also provide a lot of great free tools to help people get more out of their site. I will link to them in posts too.
Internet Usage in Ireland
- 52% internet usage (2005)
- 77% coverage in 2010 (thats 3.5 million people)
- 15th highest in world for broadband
- In 1-2 years we will have higher internet penetration than UK
Time spent online in Ireland
- European average is 12.1 hours a week
- Irish average is 19.4 hours a week spent online
- Next year there will be more people online than watching TV
What do people do online?
(stats from last 3 month in 2009)
- Research (86%)
- Buying / Shopping (53%)
- Social Networking (52%)
- Online Banking (51%)
- Travel Bookings (50%)
- YouTube (48%)
- Ireland are the 4th highest in Europe for Online Buying.
- We are number 1 for Online Travel Bookings (might have something to dow with Ryanair)
- YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world.
It is very clear from these stats provided by Google that more and more people are spending time and money online. The fact that people spend so much time online is now commonplace. Not many people go to the Golden Pages to find a business. They GOOGLE IT. Ireland is usually slow to adopt new technology (mobiles, digital tv, etc), but once we take something onboard we are very loyal and become very big users of products.
Research for a product or service is often forgotten about with businesses. If your customer meets a sales rep or views a product in a shop and don’t buy it who will do the follow up sales with them? With a good website you can answer commonly asked pre & after sales questions. Show your product working and list all it’s benefits. People often think if someone visits their site and does not buy a product that the sale is lost. This is not the case. A lot of people show around online as they do in the real world. The difference is online they can shop around much faster and more efficiently. They may decide to return to your site in a few days and purchase. They may contact your directly to buy instead. This is where a good strategy and analytical tracking of the site comes in play.
Buying Online is growing every single day. People now have trust in Ireland vendors and are happy to purchase products online. A lot more companies are offering ways for people to pay for services online.
Social Networking has exploded in the last few years with the likes of Facebook, Bebo, Twitter, Blogging, etc. As humans we all want to connect and we are all nosy too. We want to feel part of a group. Facebook has more than 500 MILLION members now. Twitter is so popular that companies such as ASOS ( As Seen on Screen) now offer customer support solely through twitter. ASOS has 50 staff members who handle their twitter customer services channel.
YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine. This is fantastic for companies who may use YouTube to showcase their product demos. You can also embed YouTube videos directly on your site too so you get the best of both worlds.