AABP Award 728x90

The Web we weave


As the number of new Web sites continues to climb each year, companies look for more ways to maximize their sites’ visibility.

Therese Wielage, vice president and partner of Spindustry Systems, said she’s noticed Web development take a shift in recent months with Internet marketing due to Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, more popularly known as the CAN-SPAM Act, which went into effect Jan. 1.

“CAN-SPAM is kind of a first attempt at some regulation in this industry,” Wielage said. “Marketers have to prove a number of things now, and even then, filters can keep legitimate e-mails out.”

As a result, taking steps to optimize your company’s position on search engine result listings has become more important than ever in getting potential customers’ attention, Wielage said.

“The Nielsen ratings show that more than 87 percent of those searching on the Internet are using a search engine to find you, even if they know your name,” Wielage said. “Your search engine listing is like getting into the phone book right now, and since people are already searching or researching something, a product or service that you sell, you want your name to be high on these listings.”

Wielage pointed out that search engine marketing is not new in itself, but this Web site “health plan” is more necessary to make a single site stand out from the millions of others competing for attention.

Brandon Cronk, art director for Red 5 Interactive, has noticed several companies making targeted efforts to reach Internet users who speak other languages, giving them a marketing advantage.

“There’s definitely some nationwide local companies who could benefit from this,” Cronk said. “If you’re really going to interact with that audience, you need to go all the way and treat them just as well as you treat your English-speaking consumer.”

Red 5’s administrative tools allow simultaneous management of a company’s English and non-English sites, making the process of having an additional site less daunting.

Another thing that Red 5 regularly does to accommodate its clients’ needs is passing along economy of scale in Web development.

“They want to see a shortcut to how they can get a really high-quality Web site and get the most out of what they pay for,” Cronk said. “Really, what Red 5 has concentrated on over the years, instead of creating small projects one at a time, we’re making an architecture over which lots of small Web sites can be created quickly.”

Cronk said some of Red 5’s projects envolving Macromedia Flash, the primary tool for animation and interactivity, lend themselves to creating multiple sites from the same piece of scripting. Cronk also pointed out the importance of keeping clients’ sites easy to use for the layman so that employees at different levels of Web experience can add content.

“We say that our management tools are easier to use than Microsoft Word,” Cronk said. “Companies want this so that they can keep their site current. By having more people involved, it makes it more innovative.”

Besides keeping sites up-to-date for the general audience, companies are using Web sites to disseminate information to their clients and employees in a timely manner, said Cordell Seagren, sales manager for Captain Jack Communications.

“Probably, companies are using Web sites for more communication with their clients, maybe a newsletter that they can have for their clients or a clients-only area on the Web site, where they can go in and see information that is specific to them,” Seagren said.

“One example is an Iowa City TV station who has clients go into their secure area in their website to proof an ad or communicate specific info to a client.”

Spindustry Systems finds that one consequence of the fairly seamless communication the Internet platform now provides is outsourcing.

“More and more, people can work for you from long distances,” Wielage said. “The reason a lot of outsourcing is going on, more than ever before, is high-speed access to other parts of the world makes the communication easy. I can do a Web session where you have the software to share the screen and hear real-time conversation.”


Internet usage has climbed 108.8 percent since the year 2000, and the most recent ratings show that people are looking to the Web more and more for communication, research and work-related projects. Three-fourths of Americans have Internet access from home, and on average they are viewing 900 to 1,000 Web pages per person per month. The duration of time spent on each Web page remains low—a mere 47 seconds.

Despite the speed in which people travel through cyberspace, the UCLA Internet Report shows that the Internet is ranked higher than other media forms, including books, television and newspapers.

“In just a handful of years, online access has managed to gain the type of traction that took other media decades to achieve,” said Kenneth Cassar, director of strategic analysis for Nielsen/NetRatings, which tracks business and consumer Internet use worldwide.  

nyemaster web 080123 300x250