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AlterSage is Now Neo @ Ogilvy

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010
Posted in AlterSage at 12:05 pm by

So finally we can break our big news!

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It is with great excitement that we reveal that AlterSage has officially partnered with Ogilvy and as of today becomes Neo@Ogilvy South Africa!

Neo is the digital arm of Ogilvy worldwide, and until now, Neo South Africa has only been offering mostly Mobile and Media Placement services in-house. AlterSage has built an incredible reputation as well as proven results over the last four years, which is why Ogilvy decided to bring us on board. In return Neo now affords us the opportunity to practice what we preach – strategic, holistic campaigns that tie online marketing together with more traditional methods.

We have moved offices and are now located in Ogilvy Cape Town.

We may be gaining a new look and a new name but also gain great additional services to offer true holistic, multi-channel marketing campaigns!

Good news is that:
  1. Our campaigns and services remain as is.
  2. Our prices won’t change,
  3. Our team has grown,
And we’ll continue to provide excellent service to our clients globally with the additional backing of a powerhouse in the advertising industry.

We are incredibly excited about our new chapter and what we will now be able to offer to our clients.

Please note that our contact details have changed and you can reach us on the following number: +27 21 467 1000. You will still be able to contact us through as well though.

AlterSage’s New Chapter

Monday, August 30th, 2010
Posted in AlterSage at 6:05 pm by

We have a big announcement that I am bursting at the seams to let you in on, but you’re going to have to wait just one more day till 1 September to find out what!

I have loved AlterSage ever since the very first blog post that I wrote on the domain so many years ago when this was still my personal blog. After a few years I thought I would give my own consultancy “a go”, and 4 years later AlterSage can boast that it has clients from around the globe, an excellent staff compliment, I’ve been honoured and recognised enough to speak at many conferences on the topic of Search, Social and Usability considerations, and through industry ups and downs we still stand. Proudly. And I still love every minute of it!

It took some thought and deliberation for me to make the decision that I have on where this incredible journey would venture next, but when it crossed my path, there was no hesitation.

We are still going to be doing great things. We will (primarily) still be the same team and offer the same services. We will still be providing excellent service to our clients globally (and so many new holistic areas!), but we will be moving premises and…that is all I will say right now.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in the AlterSage path.

Improve Customer Experience, Increase Sales

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
Posted in Conversion Analytics, Online Marketing, Usability at 12:23 pm by

Ok, so you have a PPC campaign in progress, are using Facebook and Twitter, are regularly updating your website, and still aren’t gaining customers. You get traffic to your website and then, somewhere between arriving at your homepage and finalising a purchase, visitors disappear.  What’s the problem?

In terms of e-commerce, navigating a website should be like navigating a brick and mortar store. Customers should have a positive experience and be able to easily find what they need and purchase it without too much trouble.

Not being able to find what they’re looking for, an unpleasant shopping experience and taking too long to make a purchase are all things that frustrate customers in brick and mortar stores.

These factors are compounded in the online environment where attention and time are at a premium. If customers’ have this sort of experience online they are even more likely to bail on a purchase – all they have to do is click on the “x” in the corner of the window and they’re gone.

Here are some important factors in keeping visitors engaged:


First, you need to ensure that you have what the customers who arrive at your website are looking for.

In terms of organic search, optimise your page for terms that people who are likely to make a purchase will search for, and concentrate on the most relevant terms possible. Your investment in SEO is wasted if you are getting visitors who aren’t really interested in your product or who are looking for information rather than at making a purchase.

If visitors arrive by clicking on a PPC ad, make sure your landing page directly correlates to the ad copy – you don’t want them to have to click around on your site to find the item they want to purchase. In fact, for visitors finding you from both organic and paid search results, you should minimise the number of clicks they need to make a purchase as much as possible.


Make sure that you consider the atmosphere of your virtual store. Appropriate colours and good aesthetics encourage potential customers to stick around and make a purchase.  Don’t confuse visitors with cluttered graphics or make your text difficult to read against the background colour.


Another part of a pleasant shopping experience is customers being able to quickly and easily find what they’re looking for.  A good search function is extremely convenient for visitors, and gives them a direct way to find their destination within your site if necessary.

Of course, you should also obviously signpost different areas of website, and use categories that will make sense to visitors. Questions about products and the company should be answered succinctly and the answers should be easy to find.


For e-commerce sites, make the purchase process as simple as possible. Make their path from landing page to purchase confirmation as short as you can.  Don’t require unnecessary fields (middle initial or name, title, etc.) on forms. Additionally, give customers different payment options, if possible. Accept multiple credit cards, and allow customers to make purchases via Paypal. Perhaps create user accounts so that future purchases are even simpler.

Conversion Analytics

The best way to maximise the usability of your website – and thus the number of conversions you get – is by thinking about what customers are looking for when they come to your site, ensuring that there are simple paths for them to follow to their ends, and then analyzing user activity to find your weaknesses. (Learn more about e-commerce analytics here.)