Monday, December 17, 2007

Will buying Google keywords boost my organic listing?

Simple answer: no, Google doesn't give your 'organic' (natural) listings a nudge just because you're spending money with them.

The better answer though is that if you're spending money on Adwords, it should be a prerequisite that you look long and hard at your site content (especially for content relating to those keywords) before you run a campaign. In doing so, that optimisation will in itself help your site's performance in Google irrespective of your Adwords.

Put simply, it would be inconceivable that anyone would run an Adwords campaign without first looking critically at your site for the keywords you're about to buy. Why? Well, if you think those keywords are important enough to buy, your site must be strong on those keywords!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Webzine is launched

WebzineThe Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association launched the world's first destination web magazine today...

Sign-up for our exciting Destination Dominica webzine now...

8 Reasons to Blog...

Top reason to blog? This from VerticalResponse blog, of course!

Search Engine Rankings

Backlinking - The more you link back to your corporate domain you could get ranked higher in the search engines. Search engines like "backlinks" (for now anyway). Make sure you link from keywords that are meaningful in your posts. For instance if one of your keywords is "red lipstick" then link back to a page on your site from that keyword.

Categories - Flag each post or "tag" them with a popular keyword(s) or categories for the search engines to key on as well. Notice the (s) above? Put your posts in multiple categories so they can have multiple tags. The more the merrier.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

e-marketing workshop

Presently preparing for tomorrow's e-marketing workshop. Here's the press release:

The Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association (DHTA) will sponsor an internet
marketing workshop titled “A Successful Approach to E-marketing", at the
Fort Young Hotel on December 5th at 9:30am. This initiative will coincide
with the launch of the new DHTA internet magazine or “webzine”. The DHTA
internet seminar will cover useful topics like designing an effective
website, how to market & promote your site, measuring the productivity of
your marketing initiatives, an effective web response system, the
appropriate reservation system for your operation, detecting internet fraud
plus much more.

This initiative was designed to help DHTA members to improve their overall
marketing and to optimize their marketing expenditures. The internet has
already transformed the leisure travel industry. It presently accounts for
the majority of holiday bookings; it is expected to dominate the industry
even more in the future. The web design and management team of Delphis will
join the successful, award winning team from Jungle Bay Resort & Spa to
share some “tricks of the trade” with other members of the Dominican tourism
industry. “This is the first time a successful Dominican hotel operator has
been willing to share such detailed marketing information with the rest of
the sector, and we are delighted to be part of it” says Steve McCabe of
Delphis. Sam Raphael and the Jungle Bay marketing team will provide
comprehensive information based on their cost effective, practical approach.

This is the first time the DHTA has been able to offer marketing training
using an actual working model as a guide. Hoteliers, other tourism related
providers, persons considering tourism ventures and even other businesses
and persons that depend on international business would benefit immensely
from this presentation.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Countdown to webzine

Wednesday morning see the launch of the Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association's exciting and innovative webzine, and we're still working hard on it. It's set to be the first of it's kind: a destination webzine.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Crap Site of the Month, November

I recently visited the CONCACAF website - I wanted to find out when Dominica plays Barbados in a forthcoming World Cup qualifier.

Nothing. No schedule. So maybe a date's not been set yet, but the website didn't even have a means of submitting a question. So for that they get the Crap Site of the Month award!

Basically, they're telling us we're not worth interacting with.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Curing the Curse of the CapsLock

Tired of typing away happily then realising with horror that the CapsLock key has been on? FirsCap lets you turn it off, or warn you when it's been pressed. Or CapsLock evil cousins, the NumLock and Insert keys...

Friday, November 23, 2007

And Don't Stop Blogging!

The Birth of a Blog

It's been just two weeks since we launched our blog, which we have dubbed a 'companion blog' to our popular destination website,

We are enormously pleased with the results. The traffic has grown steadily, as pictured in the graph below.

The blog is adding value to our website by enabling visitors to comment on hot topics. In addition, by providing 'deep links' to detailed information within our websites, visitors can always get more information on the blogged topic.

From a pure e-marketing standpoint, we couldn't be more pleased. Use of relevant tags, links from our websites and direct e-mail have all contributed to the birth of this blog.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Blog it!

At last, the tourism sector here is beginning to embrace the blog. Early days still, but you can't deny the immediacy, ease and lost-cost (i.e. free!) of a blog for your e-marketing.

Exotica Cottages and Ken's Tours are good examples of recent entries into the blogsphere.

And Delphis Ltd has launched a Dominica tourism blog. There's no better time of year to do - Independence leading to Christmas then into Carnival. No shortage of items (accompanied by great pics, of course). See

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Next Big Project

I thought I'd document the process you have to go through when coming up with the next killer website. Of course I can't detail everything about it just now...

This personal project was born as many are, from a eureka moment - while out cycling this time. But the seed was planted by my Mum quite some time ago.

But as I gave it some thought, I saw the possibilities. And so I got Serious.

First question - is the concept being done at the moment? A search for the keywords behind the concept is positive - no, it's not being done.

Step 2: find the domain name. All obvious ones are taken. 2a is think of less-obvious (like, or are not obvious names for what the sites do).

Setback 1: Step 2 found a site quite similar to my concept. So Step 3 is: examine that site to see if my idea can still run without being a rip-off. And yes it can (the site I found is just for the US).

So it's back to Step 2, and as such I need to go cycling for more inspiration ;)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Google still dominates....

A recent BBC article reported that Google 'users performed more than 37 billion searches via Google, more than all the other major search engines combined...'

Nothing new there - our recent e-marketing seminar emphasised Google's dominance and the importance of optimising for it.

What was interesting though was that "...the study revealed that most search activity happens in the Asia-Pacific region, which includes countries such as China, Japan and India.

More than 258 million unique users in the region carried out 20.3 billion searches in August, said comScore.

Europe had the second largest total of searchers (210 million), followed by North America (206 million)."

Indeed, that China's and Korea's NHN ranked alongside Google and Yahoo suggested that we start thinking of those search engines... and of region-specific ones as well.

The top search engines are:

Google sites 37 billion searches
Yahoo sites - 8.5 billion
Baidu 3.2 billion
Microsoft sites 2.1 billion
NHN 2 billion
eBay 1.3 billion
Time Warner 1.2 billion
Ask 743 million
Fox 683 million
Lycos 441 million
Total worldwide searches: 61 billion

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wimax... down the line?

Digicel in Jamaica are rolling out Wimax - wireless broadband - which gives us hope here in Dominica for an end to the near-stranglehold C&W have on Internet.

Though they do improve the service - many people are now at 1Mb, it's when things go wrong that their monopoly rears its very ugly head. Try calling their 1-800 support line and you'll know what I mean.

Full press release...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Losing the adverts

As an e-marketer I feel slightly uncomfortable using an ad-blocking Firefox extension, but you know, I never click on the ads anyway so what's the problem? One could argue that my surfing experience on a particular site is better for losing the ads, so I'm a more loyal reader...

Anyway, check out Adblock Plus

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fighting spam, part 2

Since spammers are always one step ahead of the people who fight spam, the solution is simple - make the company offering the services that the spam advertises liable. The spammers hide, the people behind the services can't (or else how would we buy the products).

Fighting spam, part 1

(Taken from a forthcoming article in the Domnitjen magazine)

These days, there are times when using e-mail seems far less of convenience it once was. The huge amount of spam, undeliverable mail (probalby as a result of spam), annoying Out of Office replies etc. Add to that the inherant dangers with e-mail (namely viruses) and there's no doubt we're well over our honeymoon period with e-mail.

E-mail hijacking - more correctly called spoofing - is another problem that is cropping up these days. Why? Because it's so easy to do. When you send an e-mail, the From part (and other properties such as Reply-to) is simply what you say it to be in the account identity settings of your e-mail client (by client we mean software like Eudora or Thunderbird).

So if had your 'From' setting as "George Bush", with a return address of for example, it might appear that the e-mail was indeed from the Man Himself.

Of course, if you pretend to send an email as if you were someone else, when the recepient replied the plot would soon come unstuck.

Unless of course they had also hacked into your actual e-mail account. Then they would really have hijacked your e-mail. To avoid this, the number 1 rule is use a strong password. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and try to make it more than 8 characters.

Spoofing is most commonly used in spam e-mail in order to hide where it was sent from, rather than to maliciously impersonate someone. If you think you've received a spoof e-mail, do some checking. Using the 'View Headers' option reveals useful information such as where the e-mail came from.

And don't forget, if you're using a webmail service like Hotmail, always log-off when you finish checking your e-mail.

A good guiding principle with e-mail is: be suspicious - suspect any attachment, any request for detailed personal information, and of course suspect that $10 million inheritance from Nigeria!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Ndiyo: affordable networking

Worth a mention is the Ndiyo Project - recognising that networking is basically expensive because you're using an entire PC for each person on the network, the Ndiyo project is aiming to produce small hub-like devices that all connect to just one PC running Linux.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


There are almost 200 photos in Flickr tagged with the mis-spelled tag 'Domnica'. Easy to do - in fact, I did it with the very first web page I put up in 97, and suffered for what seemed to be an age every time I searched Google, but it shows the import of spelling. And given that even Firefox now carries a form-field spell checker, it's getting even harder for a typo to slip through the net.

Anyway, that's 200 photos that most people would not see if they were searching for DomInica'. So check your spelling!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Google Earth & KML

It's not easy, but you can create routes that be brought into Google Earth and shared with others. The Boiling Lake hike was an obvious choice to do, here in Dominica. You do this using Keyhole Markup Language files (KML).

Then (!) all you need to do is let people know about it - you can use the Google Earth Community.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The ultimate laptop the new One Laptop Per Child (OLPC); one reviewer said 'why can't my expensive laptop do that?'. The review is excellent. See for more.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I'm a big fan of Flickr. For me it's as much a search engine for photos as it is about photo sharing. So tagging images with good keyword tags is important. But I also like that you can browse for 3 main criteria - relevance, popularity and how recent a photo is. don't forget as well as tags you can add explicitly, the picture title and a description are also used to rank an image. Just like in Google.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

It's all about trust

We continually emphasise trust as one of the key components of doing business on the web, and you need to work hard at it. Which is why the whole 'offshore sector' in Dominica makes me a little uneasy. Mainly because the one or two bad apples in the sector get the spotlight - I think of StockGeneration scam of a few years ago, and how it was the only time Dominica's ever been mentioned in Wired magazine.

I'd rather we were seen as a wired island rather then home to numerous dodgy schemes. At a time when we're seeking to encourage lots of e-business start-ups, we owe it to all the potential young e-business entrepreneurs here not to fuck it up for them even before they've started!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Don't forget!

It's that time of year again in Dominica - storm season - and though it's been mostly quiet so far, let's not forget to always unplug our DSL modems from the phone line whenever it's not in use, in case of a lightning strike!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Community Involvement

Delphis Ltd. is pleased to annouce that is has become a Corporate Sponsor of iRie ECO Summer Camp 2007.
iRie ECO is a newly formed organisation (soon to be non-profit) that will be holding a Summer Camp at the Dominica Club from July 2nd to August 31st, 2007. The programme encompasses three age groups: 1 to 3 years, 3 to 6 years, and 6 to 10 years of age. The activities will cover art, science, cooking, circus, gardening, maths, language arts, and life skills. Tutoring is also available.

The Educational themes for this summer are:
  • Eco-Education
  • Healthy Living
  • Science: Rainbows, Ocean, Rainforest
The children will learn through art, singing, drama and other hands-on activities.

For more info about the organisers, teachers, pricing, and programme details, email

Monday, June 11, 2007

Counting Web Traffic

A couple of old 'web traffic' chestnuts cropped-up today.

First, hits are no valid way of counting real traffic to your website. Sure, they are always the highest of web metrics - being the total of all files (pages, images etc) accessed in a given time period - and as such, there's always the temptation to say "we've had 250,000 hits this week". What this really means is, we've had a total of 250,000 files accessed, it could be 50 people or it could be 5,000 people, but we like 250,000 because it's way way more impressive than 5,000. Hits tells you so very little about your website traffic. Instead, unique visitors are the true test of web traffic. For each unique visitor there will be one or more page views, and since each page is usually composed of several files such as images, one visitor will generate several page views each one of which will generate several file hits. And the total in bytes of all these files is the bandwidth usage.

And this leads on to the second chestnut of the day: (graphical) page counters. Don't use them. They tell your visitor nothing useful, and provide you with no useful information at all.

e-mail checklist

Our e-marketing seminars emphasise the need to make sure basic criteria are followed when you start to using e-mail for marketing in a serious way. The points you need to check are

  • Do you have a strong signature, including your URL?
  • Meaningful identity (‘From:’)?
  • Professional address?
  • Timely response?
  • Think before you reply!
  • Is your system date correct?
  • Don't dilute the message with poor visuals
  • Hide multiple recipients

Regarding the last point, no-one wants to have to scroll through a long list of other recipients (besides, it might make people feel special if they think the e-mail's just to them!).

If you're e-mailing to anything more than just a couple of people, send the e-mail to yourself (or one address), but BCC to the multiple e-mail addresses.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Did you know...?

...the Chinese internet market is the second largest in the world, and it's only a whisker behind the US, with 150 million users (the US has 154 million). But the US has 68% penetration. That 150 million represents about 10% of the Chinese market. At full saturation, the Chinese market will be almost 7 times as large as the US...

The importance of web analytics

Just to emphasise how critical checking your site traffic using a package like Google Analytics is, I reproduce an abridged version of the following Reasons Why You Do NOT Need Web Analytics
"If you believe Web Analytics is overrated and your business could succeed without Web Analytics, then you're absolutely correct. Below are reasons why you don't Web Analytics integrated into your online campaign.

  • You don’t want to know where your visitors are coming from.

  • You don't care how much time visitors spend on your website.

  • Tracking hits is perfectly sufficient.

  • Dead Content? There can't be any dead content on your site.

  • Bounce rate sounds like a make believe metric.

  • Your time is better spent elsewhere rather than crunching data in order to measure the performance of our website.

  • You love the plateau in your website's traffic because concentrating on branded keywords is good enough.

  • Podcasts are the hippest thing, if you record they will come, so why measure the number of downloads.

  • Your development team should be adding enhancements not implementing web analytics.

  • Top Exit pages is a non-issue for your website, once visitors arrive they are going to purchase.

  • Who cares what paths visitors take or the length of their paths, as I said earlier, once they arrive, they are going to purchase.

  • Everyone understands English so it doesn't matter what country your visitors originate from.

  • Your site's probably not going to have repeat visitors anyways because they'll find everything they need the first time around.

  • You know that a PPC campaign's success is completely based upon click-throughs and impressions.

  • Internal Search? That's just there for show.


Our recent workshop emphasised in part the importance of a website owner examining their site's traffic. And equally, when someone makes a claim they are #1 in whatever niche they claim to be (so as to get your advertising dollar), ask them for proof of this.

Here's a look at the last year's traffic on
The averages are: 726,646 page views a month, 85,000 visits a month.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

If your website is your shopfront...

... then the text, especially spelling is important! I recently saw a local company's website. Their tag line was 'Integrity and Excelence'...

Riding the Pirate wave

Many Dominica sites are tapping-into the present pirate wave. The new CBS reality show 'Pirate Master' was filmed in Dominica, and there's a growing interest in Dominica because of this.

Sites that have created content related to pirates & Pirate Master in particular are seeing a substantial increase in traffic. Our was created prior to Pirates of the Caribbean 2, so it's been well-positioned for quite some time, and we've seen growth in traffic around the time of both Pirates 2, 3 and of course Pirate Master - see graph!

This all goes to show that anticipating traffic trends is an important aspect of Search Engine Optimisation!

Monday, June 4, 2007

e-Marketing workshop

Last week Thursday we held a very well-attended 'Introduction to e-marketing' seminar, in association with the Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association. Though it was an introduction, we covered a lot of ground. We got lots of great feedback, and I'm already seeing people who attended taking up our suggestion to 'get a blog'. I'll link to them soon!

Friday, June 1, 2007


Welcome to the Delphis Ltd corporate blog.

Delphis Ltd. is a Dominica-based web development and e-marketing company. And since we've been talking about the power of blogs as part of our e-marketing focus, it's high time we had a corporate one!

We hope to share some of our experience via this medium. Or just use it to share some of our cool images of Dominica...