The Death of Longtail???

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A record of Google updates that suggest the search giant is actively pushing users away from long tail searches. As long suspected these queries are harder monetise. By driving more users to generic queries it inevitably increases the cost for advertisers on Google’s proven ad platform.

How Google Killed the Longtail Infographic.

Shopping for a Sofa?

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How to Choose Your Next Sofa

Although it’s important to choose a sofa that suits your living room, comfort and durability should also be at the forefront of your mind. A typical sofa should last for approximately ten years, and there are many factors that can affect its longevity. Here are some hints and tips to help you find a sofa which will stand the test of time:

Sofas – Hardwood Frames

Let’s start from the inside of the sofa. When choosing a new sofa, it’s vital you pick one with a strong, well-constructed frame. Even better, pick one that features handcrafted solid hardwood frames that are dowel glued and screwed rather than stapled. Leather and fabric sofas such as the Vermont large sofa and Jasmine small sofa from Oak Furniture Land each boast hardwood frames, which are glued and screwed together by skilled craftsmen in the UK. Unlike cheap fabric sofas with chipboard or softwood frames, these sofas are much more cost effective in the long run as they offer exceptional durability for years of reliable use.

Sofas – Seat Fillings and Cushions

Sofas are designed to offer you ultimate comfort and support and the type of filling used in the seat cushions is of the utmost importance. The best type of seat cushion you can find is one that’s been filled using either Duratech or Encore carded fibre. These are the only two filling types to have ever received the FIRA Gold Award for product excellence. The material moulds to the shape of your body – much in the same way that memory foam works – which ensures unbeatable comfort and support. Another key feature to look out for in your new sofa is generously deep seat cushions with fibre-filled backs for extra support.

Choosing sofas – Upholstery

In the sofa world, choice is everything. Leather and fabric sofas come in a wide range of finishes and the type of upholstery used can make a huge different to the comfort and durability of your new sofa. When shopping for a new leather sofa, ‘semi-aniline’ is a key word to look out for. Representing the highest quality, this type of leather sofa will age beautifully and allows the beauty of the hide to be enjoyed in its most natural form. Fabric sofas, on the other hand, can be deliciously soft and the covers are often removable for dry-cleaning purposes.

Contemporary Sofas and Traditional Sofas

Last but certainly not least, you should choose a sofa that complements your living space. If your home is ultra-modern, perhaps you might enjoy the understated sophistication of a full-grain, Italian leather sofa. For a classically-styled conservatory, you might opt for a loose cover fabric sofa with elegant valances. Finally, before you delve into the sofa world for your next purchase, make sure you check for free delivery services and interest free finance options!

Furniture Village Mobile Website

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Furniture Village recently launched a new mobile website with the intention of harvesting increased levels of web users on mobile devices.

As of November 2011, 91.4 million people in the United States owned smartphones, according to comScore which is estimated to have now exceeded 100 Million.

Since it’s launch, the average basket value on Furniture Village’s mobile website is reported to have surpassed that of its main website.

The retailer attributes the new peak in average basket value to the accessibility and usability of its mobile retailing website, which it launched after Christmas and developed with mobile specialists We Love Mobile.

The teams worked together to create a site with fewer ‘taps to purchase’ than many existing mobile retail sites. Now, over one in five online visitors to Furniture Village’s website come from a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet.

Commenting on the success of the launch, Charlie Harrison, head of eCommerce at Furniture Village said: “The mobile website has created a new shopping experience for our customers. It’s not an uncommon sight to see someone sat on the very sofa that they’re looking at on their phone.

“We wanted to make buying furniture as easy as possible for our customers. Our new mobile website delivers an exciting new touch-point and we’re looking forward to seeing what we can do with this in future”

Television Advertising in 2012

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During the new year the battle for business between the major retailers often proves to be a fascinating one. The major weapon of choice is the Television advertising campaign; the return on investment can very rarely be beaten, and it is the most direct way to reach the largest audience possible at a time when shopping is at the forefront of everybody’s thoughts. Here’s a good example from a popular furniture retailer

The popularity of the television “talent shows” has also increased the significance of this. It is now the status quo for these shows to run during the build up to Christmas, and programmes such as the X-factor and Strictly Come Dancing can, at their peak, draw in audiences approaching 20million – which is almost a third of the population in the UK. The X-factor in particular is a key target for companies with a substantial marketing budget; screened on ITV, the viewer can expect to see more than half an hour of adverts during the course of an average show. The cost to place your advert in these slots is phenomenal – but so is the potential return on investment.

Yeo Valley are a good example of a company that executed their television advert to perfection. Rather than advertise at regular intervals throughout the year, they chose to invest the majority of their budget in one major campaign – which appears to have paid dividends. After the first showing of this years “boy band” campaign, Yeo Valley became the number one worldwide trending topic on the hugely popular social network site Twitter. The video was viewed on YouTube over 100,000 times within just a few hours, and the “single” of the song appeared in the iTunes top 40. Likewise, John Lewis invested heavily in their annual Christmas campaign which once again attracted a huge amount of attention and adoration. Just a few weeks before Christmas the company had reported a fall in profits, and yet just a few weeks later the company are reporting an increase in like-for-like sales of 6.2% compared on the previous year.

Of course, not all campaigns will have this level of impact and some won’t even have any impact at all. It’s not enough to just churn out a Television campaign – it needs to be done effectively. However, it creates a fascinating battle for buyers’ attention between the big players, and can prove to be the tool that will “make or break” what is the most important sales period of the year in business.

Buying Christmas Presents… after Christmas?

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The financial burden of Christmas may finally be taking its toll on us, after a survey found that almost a quarter of Britons intend to buy their Christmas presents in the January Sales this year. The survey, conducted by comparison site uSwitch, discovered that nine in ten consumers reported that they had seen presents they had bought for Christmas reduced in the sales only days later.

The tradition of the January sales stretch back for generations, as retailers look to cajole customers into parting with their newly acquired cash and gift vouchers with the offer of huge post-Christmas savings. Last year some shoppers were reported to have queued for up to 12 hours, notably in Selfridges on Oxford Street in London, to be the first ones through the doors on Boxing Day for the post-Christmas sales.

The sense of pride and prestige the consumer feels from purchasing an expensive item at sale price is a lot of what drives this trend – as well as the basic principle of having the opportunity to make any savings possible in the current harsh economic climate. In fact, not all of those surveyed that said they would be giving presents post-Christmas was simply because they were cash-strapped; a fifth of participants cited the principle of being able to get more for their money as the driving force for this decision.

Consumers who took part in the survey estimated that they would save more than £40 on average – with some claiming they could even make savings to the tune of £100. The idea of giving gifts after Christmas is certainly a new concept; in years gone by it was deemed essential for consumers to get their gifts in place and to their recipient’s pre-Christmas. For this reason, many retailers heavily position their pre-Christmas sales pitch on the principle of being able to guarantee delivery by Christmas, as this has always been a key proposition to consumers. It would appear, however, that the economic climate has driven many to a new dynamic out of necessity. Indeed, 40% of participants stated they simply could not afford to buy Christmas presents, suggesting the decision has been taken out of their hands.

Therefore now, more than ever, the post-Christmas sales could prove to be crucial to retailers in order to cash in on the sales they may have missed out on pre-Christmas.

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