Below we list answers to some common questions and provide you with greater detail about the different aspects of a website.

All you need to know about SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

On-Site SEO

On-site SEO optimization is a process that is done on a website. The job is to make the pieces of each page of the site attractive to search engines. To do this, specific programming steps need to be followed to ensure compliance with search engines. Some of the simpler steps are adding meta descriptions to pages, setting the correct titles and making use of specific keywords through out a page. Digital Oven has mastered the art of on site SEO.

Although Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not rocket science, many web companies ignore SEO because it saves them work and quite frankly their clients don’t understand it, hence they don’t realise that SEO was not done. At Digital Oven we are honest, we love the web and we want our customers to succeed so we don’t skimp on anything, especially SEO.

Off-Site SEO

Off-site SEO involves acquiring links to your website from other websites on the Internet. These links are referred to as “backlinks”. Backlinks that come from websites with high authority help your website build authority.

Off-site SEO is important. There are dedicated companies that specialize in off-site SEO. It’s a big job and requires a SEO company to fulfil.

Domain Names, what are they? How do you choose a domain name?

So what exactly is a domain name?

A domain name is the address where your website would be found on the Internet. It’s where people can find you, and it serves as your online identity (the unique name that identifies an Internet site). For example, the domain name of this web site is “digitaloven.co.za”. Businesses typically register domain names with their company name. Individuals often register family names or names that have a personal interest to them.

Domain names have two parts: the label and the extension. There are many domain name extensions to choose from and this can sometimes cause confusion. Common domain name extensions include:

  • “.co.za” (in South Africa)
  • “.com”
  • “.net”
How do I choose a domain name?

Domain name registration is probably one of the most important things that you will do when creating a website for your business. A domain name is the one thing that will identify your website – it is like a brand name. Once you have registered it and have used it for a couple of months it is extremely difficult to change it to something else. So think well before you register your domain – it is a decision that you will have to live with for a while – if not forever!

Your domain name should reflect what your site or your business is about. It should be descriptive and easy to remember and refer clients to. Most businesses have a distinctive name which is usually well known among their clients. For restaurants, as an example, we recommend that it might be best to use your restaurant name and attach the word “restaurant” to it and register it as your domain name. For example, it will be better to register www.namerestaurant.co.za as opposed to www.name.co.za. You can register your domain name by using your best niche keyword (which in most cases will be your business name) and you will also score a few points in trying to get your site high up in the search engine rankings. It will also be the logical choice for your clients when they go onto the Internet to look for your practice and it will reinforce your business’s branding.

Points to consider:

Hyphens are easier to read in print, are easier to ‘understand’ by the search engines (remember that a key linking strategy is to have text links contain your targeted keywords. If your domain name is legible to search engines and it is used to link to your site, you score some points since your keywords are already contained in your domain name), and gives you more choice. The negatives about hyphens is that they are difficult for people to hear! You will probably have difficulty in spelling out your domain name over the phone or in conversation when it contains hyphens. If you can therefore, register your domain name both WITH, and WITHOUT the hyphens. You would be wise to do this in any case in order to protect all versions of your domain name. If you do not register the domain name yourself that you are not planning on using directly, someone else might just do it and use a slightly different version of your domain name.

The other important decision to make is whether to register a .com or a .co.za. Our advice on this is to register a .com if you are primarily going to focus on marketing your products and services internationally and to register a .co.za if you are primarily going to market locally. Please note that lots of search engines (for example Google and Bing) nowadays offer the facility to search locally (e.g. ‘Pages from South Africa’). Most businesses will use their Internet site to market locally and hence you should definitely register your domain name with a “.co.za” extension, rather than a “.com” since a “.co.za” is more likely to show up in local search results rather than a domain name with a “.com” extension.

Domain names have two parts: the label and the extension. There are many domain name extensions to choose from and this can sometimes cause confusion. Common domain name extensions include:

  • “.co.za” (in South Africa)

Or internationally

  • “.com”
  • “.net”

What do I need to give Digital Oven to make me a website?

What we need from you to make your website

You need to tell us what pages you want on your website. You must provide us with all the copy (text) that is to go on each page. Should you want any pictures on your website you must provide us with these too. This can all be done via the signup page here: www.digitaloven.co.za/signup.

If you don’t have copy for each page on your website we can write relevant copy for you. This service is charged at R250 per hour. We will inform you of this service should the information you provide us for your website not meet quality standard. If the copy you provide us is of a bad quality it can 1. negatively affect your website ranking on search engines like Google; and 2. reflect badly on our business as made the site. We want to ensure we only produce high quality websites, so mediocre doesn’t cut it around here at Digital Oven.

How will I be charged?

You will be charged on a monthly basis. Payment must be made by you via EFT. At a later stage we may offer alternative payment solutions such as Direct Debit or recurring credit card payments.

Our basic package is R299 per month. If you choose any of our addon options then these will be added to your monthly bill. Payment is always in advance for every month e.g. you pay on the 1st May then this payment is for the month of May.

Website hosting, what it is and what we do.

A properly designed website is an extension of the corporate identity (CI) of a business and as such we strive to maintain and incorporate any existing branding and design as much as possible. We ask businesses, who have an existing corporate identity ie a logo, colour palettes, typefaces, page layouts and other such methods of maintaining visual continuity and brand recognition across all physical manifestations of the brand, to supply us with this information in electronic format. Should a business not have such pre-existing branding our dedicated and competent graphic design team can assist to create a CI for you, which will then be incorporated into the website design and layout. Please contact us directly regarding CI design at info[at]digitaloven.co.za.

Website Statisics

Your web statistics show not just how many hits you’re getting, but which pages are the most popular, who’s visiting your site, when do they visit, and other data that can give you a clear idea of what sort of traffic you are getting to your website. This is very useful in keeping track of any online marketing. You will also be able to see from where your visitors have come from e.g. a link clicked on Eat Out, or from a Google search.

What is website performance? Why is it important?

Why Website Performance Matters

There is no doubt that people get frustrated when websites are slow – you only have to search Twitter for ‘slow website’ to see common culprits and the level of annoyance they create. So people get angry, that’s pretty obvious but what’s the knock-on effect?

When people think back to events or experiences, the significant elements they remember are initial impressions, any peaks or troughs in their enjoyment and the last impression – so regardless of what reputation you have built with someone, the latest visit to your website is still very important. Recently, some neurological studies have been conducted on the effects of slow websites on visitors – they found that visitors will experience high stress levels – do you really want to imprint that as a memory on your visitors?

The web is all about convenience. If your website is removing that benefit by making people wait, it’s usually easier for people to go elsewhere than stick around. Studies have illustrated that a one-second slow-down on a website will decrease customer satisfaction by 16%. That’s right – a single second makes that big of a difference!

So now you know what web performance is all about, we at Digital Oven make sure that all of the factors above are taken care off. We have optimized your website’s code. We have compressed all the files that your websites uses like: images, styling code, etc. And we constantly measure the effectiveness and speed of your website with the latest web tools to ensure your website is always running smoothly.

Here is an in depth study on website performance and why it matters if you care to read it: Why Web Performance Matters

Who are ComeDine? (for restaurants only)

ComeDine (www.comedine.co.za) serves to market and expose restaurants to the online community succeeding in converting browsers into diners by offering them the ability to make convenient online bookings at signed up restaurants. All bookings are made over the telephone by their call centre on the diner’s behalf, so nothing changes operationally for the restaurant. The listing on ComeDine is free; there are no joining fees or subscription fees. They charge the restaurant R7 per person that books through their online booking system and then dines at your restaurant. So you only pay if you receive the benefit of diners; once they have sat and eaten in your restaurant. Essentially it is advertising for your restaurant for which you only pay when ComeDine delivers. There is no fixed term contract so you can opt out at any stage should you wish to.

In addition, ComeDine has partnered with Eat Out (www.eatout.co.za) and Rossouws Restaurants (www.rossouwsrestaurants.co.za), meaning that by signing with ComeDine, all Eat Out and Rossouw Restaurants visitors also have the ability to make convenient online bookings at your restaurants. This exposes your restaurant to over 120,000 potential diners every month.

If you choose to opt in for our addon booking widget option for R100 per month which is offered through ComeDine, you will be able to take bookings on your website. You will not pay a fee per cover and only the set fee per month. To make use of the ComeDine booking widget you must become or already be a client of ComeDine. This means you will be advertised on their website and you will have to pay R7 per diner they send you. Bookings from your website will be free. A fair usage policy applies to bookings. If booking numbers exceed 50 per month ComeDine will contact you to fit you with a higher tier booking plan.

To signup with ComeDine and start enjoying all that they can offer visit: www.comedine.co.za/restaurant-signup

Why is it important to have a mobile optimized website?

If you want your business to be current and keep up with trends in technology, you absolutely need a mobile-optimized website. In today’s digital climate, you can’t afford not to have one. People are on the go more than ever before, and you need to create a website for your business that meets their needs. If you don’t offer a mobile version of your website, your customers may move on to someone who does.

In South Africa the above really hits home. A recent report from Google shows that 50% of South African Internet users access the Internet via their mobile phones. Are you willing to miss those customers looking for your business just because you don’t have a mobile optimized website?