More visitors and higher conversion rates? SEO + FEO

As Steve Souders said in his blog: speed is more than a feature. Speed is the most important feature.

Why? Because users will start abandoning your site if it takes them more than 2 seconds to see your site rendering in the browser, no matter how popular, informative and UI friendly your site is!

2 seconds.

When we type and enter the URL (or click bookmark or search result) in the browser to get a web page, the following activities will happen and will take a few seconds to complete them:
1.the browser sends the HTTP request to the host server that the URL is pointing to
2.the host server receives the HTTP request, process it and then send the corresponding HTTP reply back to the browser
3.the browser receives the HTTP reply which likely will include a HTML file
4.the browser parses the HTML file, sends out HTTP requests to get the external objects (e.g. graphics) listed in the HTML file. The more number of external objects in the HTML file, the more requests the browser will send out
5.the browser receives HTTP replies and external objects, construct the page layout and display the web page

Activities (2) and (3) are called Back-End activities while (4) and (5) are called Front-End activities. Nowadays there are many objects such as graphics, video, style sheets and scripts etc. in a typical web page. We have a lot of HTTP requests and replies when we access a web page. If we plot the times for the browser to receive each HTTP replies against time, we will have a waterfall diagram similar to this one:

A lot of studies show that 80% of web site delivery time is Front-End related. In order to speed up the web content delivery, many techniques are developed to reduce the times used by Front-End activities. These techniques are called Front-End Optimization (FEO) or Web Performance Optimization (WPO).

The faster users can browse the Internet, the more frequent users will use (and search) the Internet. Yahoo! and Google spend huge effort to develop technologies and techniques to make the Internet faster! Yahoo! YSlow and Google PageSpeed are the most frequently used FEO references.

YSlow and PageSpeed share many common techniques and the following five are the most important ones:
1.reduce HTTP requests
2.leverage HTTP cache header
3.move CSS upward JavaScript downward In the HTML page
4.enable HTTP compression
5.use CDN, especially when your users spread across a large geographical area

Web site design and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are two common focuses of companies who want to increase their website traffic, repeated visits and conversion rates. Many companies wonder why they have high bounce rates even if they have good site designs and SEO. Researches show that slow site is one of the major reasons. Users will find yours site beautiful and useful if and only if they can see it!

FEO improves web site performances. However FEO is a rather new concept and requires more technical knowledge to master. It needs more market education to help companies to adopt FEO to make their web sites faster.

If your site is slow, it doesn’t matter how cool is your site design and how high is your site ranking in search result.

On Internet, every second counts!

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Apple TV.

I watched my first iTune Store movie rental – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – in this damn hot Sat night.

Currently there are 44 movies in the iTunes Store HK. I wanted to experience watching iTunes movie and I knew that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a very good fiction, so I rented this HD movie for HK$38. The movie was available to watch with 30 days. Once I started watching it, the movie was available for 48 hours only and I could watch it as many times as I wanted to during the period.

It is interesting that I can rent this movie via iPad or iPhone but not Apple TV…

It took less that 40min to download the 4.4GB video to my iPad. Pretty fast. The movie was great. Exciting story with rude murders and crazy people. Sweden was beautiful. Daniel Craig was cool. Rooney Mara was an insanely great hacker! The movie is not very famous and popular in HK when compared to Harry Porter and Lord of Rings. It is available in iTunes Store HK because both Daniel and Rooney are frequently using their MacBooks in the movie?

Pay-per-view movie is available on my IPTV service for a long time but I’ve never used it. I think the reason is user interface. It is easy to do movie research on iPad and to buy/rent movie in iTunes Store. I can replay any part of the movie by sliding my finger. It is quite difficult to use the current TV interface to do the same things. Shopping video on iPad and AirPlaying it to big TV screen while sitting on the couch is likely the best configuration, the best configuration to “crack the TV market”.

Mass adoptions of broadband, iTunes, iPod/iPhone/iPad are required to enable millions of people to easily consume OTT videos and to meet volumes asked by studios. Are we ready?


OTT video. iTunes Store. Apple TV Pro

Netflix passed 1 billion view hours per month in last June which is a milestone of Over-The-Top video market. Why OTT? As Steve Jobs said in D8: people loves watching video whenever they want and wherever they want.

Last week I was in Taipei. At the same time we had the EURO 2012 quarter and semi finals. It was sad that soccer was not popular in Taiwan and therefore this global sport event was not available on anyone of the 100+ TV channels in Taiwan! The only way I could watch the games was to go to the pub Brass Monkey at 2:30am! I missed many games…

I am subscribing IPTV in Hong Kong. Hopefully someday the IPTV service will offer 3-screen service (with little geo restriction) and then I can watch my subscribed live sport content anywhere even when I am out of HK! People are willing to spend a bunch of money for timely content.

Last week we had the iTunes Store opened in HK as well as some Asia countries. Finally, I can buy song at any moment I want to. MJ’s Human Nature is now on my iPhone. Hopefully the movie Immortals will be available in iTunes Store HK very soon!

Why rent movies from iTunes rather than IPTV paid-by-view offers? Anytime, anywhere and any device. OTT is not a why but a when question for cable TV and IPTV operators.

Just call my name and I’ll be there.

Steve mentioned in D8 that Go-To-Market was the biggest problem of the innovation in TV market. There are different TV regulations in different countries to govern local TV broadcast industries. Assuming those regulations do not apply to iTunes Store video service and people are happy it, why people will buy a new TV from Apple to consume OTT video content is a core part of GTM strategy.

If I am going to replace my personal LCD TV/monitor and Apple TV, I would like the new device can
1.do what a standard HDTV can do
2.act as a Apple TV and support AirPlay
3.access to great video content (iTunes Store movie and music are now available in 60+ markets. Can do a better job to provide more content, to more markets)
4.support access to more 3rd party content apps (and by doing so it helps cable operators to offer 3-screen services on iDevices. Help them help you.)
5.act as a better secondary monitor
6.FaceTime

Here are my expected spec of the coming “Apple TV Pro”
-27″ or larger Retina Display, 2880×1800
-standard TV i/o interfaces
-built-in Apple TV
-remote control (likely with keypad slider)
-network: 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and FE port
-2x Thunderbolt ports
-1.2M pixels front camera and FaceTime HD
-a new Remote app for iPhone and iPad
-support customized apps

These items can be found by pieces in different Apple products today. The technologies are already ready! When we can buy “Apple TV Pro” in those markets with iTunes Store?

“(The TV and movie market) is changing a lot in the next 24 months” Steve shared in D8, June 2010.