estimating challenges

The quality of information provided for estimating purposes can be varied in my world. The information can be dis-jointed and presented in an unfriendly format which presents us with some challenges.

So in order to connect the dots so to speak and build up elements for costing and other variables, I turn to microsoft access to create tables for the provided information and also to build up the picture the way the form of tender asks.

So next timw your creating an elaborate estimating workbook in excel, consider access also.

access / vba in demand

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Access / vba skills are still very much in demand.

A lot of investment , insurance and similar organisations very much favour the rapid application development style of Microsoft Access accompanied with vba, which can give results quickly and usually provide a business case for upscaling into longer term projects and applications that can sit on a Sql server platform enviroment, which isn’t too much aggrevation from Access.

Jobs utilizing these skills in the city are offering up to 50k per annum on average plus any benefits.

Distraction from quality content you are providing

It has recently come to my attention from a brilliant online community forum post that sidebars and widgets that feature as part of blog posting can distract the reader from taking in the content of the post itself. This then leaves your call to action somewhat stranded on the beach in the readers head. As such it’s worth reviewing the call to action / conversion you are trying to achieve and allowing the post to be read.

Such tactics as redesigning the sidebars, increasing white space or even losing the sidebars altogether are an option. Achieving that fine balance is key for quality, SEO and your conversions.

Seo – in it for the long haul

We live in such a fast pace world, technology provides superfast access to information,products and services. So why do SEO / SEM campaigns take so long to bare fruit from our efforts, its comparable with watching paint dry.

It all seems to be down to the spiders that index the web. I have also heard that engines such as google only update the back links between 4-6 times a year. This means that once you have completed a back link building campaign, you won’t see any results for approximately 2 months.

The key to your seo campaigns is to have patience as nothings happens fast. Don’t go checking daily on this front, it will soon become soul destroying. Instead, check your sites Once a month for changes in rank,links and position with a cup of tea and relax, it’s seo maaaan.

Database design – Back to basics

Over my 15 years of developing with Microsoft Access, I have found myself adding functionality onto existing databases that I have inherited so to speak and sooner or later found that my clients database was not grounded from sensible database design and so the scalability is severely stunted and has little room for expansion and being useful to the users. I always find myself going back to basics and mentally sitting those first classes at college to mull over the relational database and normalisation of the data you want to store and ultimately the information you wish to extract from it.

This shows that it is vital to spend time with the client, understand their needs implicitly in order to root in a solid database design allowing scalability as one day they may well expand , require an upscale to SQL server, where this will pay dividends.

How do you get to the first page on a search engine

The most important for you is to first identify what words that you want customers to find you on search engines is? The less unique the search term, the more competitive your site will be with others. Ultimately this will cost but depends on your search words or ‘keywords’ as they are known. ¬†There are things that you can do to help the search engine rankings but it does require effort and you can speed this process up by paying for such services.

Be warned of black hat services that offer you better search rank position which may get you blacklisted from search engine listings. These can take forms such as link farms.

I take a holistic approach and combine a mixture of techniques based on quality content, blogs, and strong inbound links as part of a strategic seo (Search engine optimisation) / sem (Search engine marketing) campaign. I would budget for a number of hours a month over a six month period to see some serious improvements in search listing placement, depending on your keywords if you want to become first place in your niche Market on the search listing results.

But a campaign shouldn’t stop there like any business shouldn’t stay stagnant, your business is always a work in progress.

Let me know your thoughts?

Welcome to the Linear Solutions blog

Welcome to the linear Blog where I will be hopefully posting useful information and insight into what I come across day to work with challenges of web projects and solutions to hopefully inspire you also and if you are interested to contact me to use on projects , which would be a bonus.

Like business, its important to embrace it as a work in progress and ever will be, To think otherwise will be your downfall. I welcome comments on my posts and strongly believe that there should be a balanced benefit to contributors of quality content, that I will arrange for comments to be do follow using a fair mechansim.