eNews for December 20, 2011
GET A KEYWORD RICH DOMAIN NAME: I’m sure it has been mentioned before but please don’t set up a website with the cute name of your business. (Unless of course it is a big nationally known brand which I am guessing it is not). If your store name is “Sassy Bags” for instance, who is going to be sitting at home searching on the word sassy and bags? Go to the Google Keyword Tool and see what people are searching on….perhaps handbags or designer bags or purses or clutches or shoulder bag? You can always buy your business name of SassyBags.com and have it POINT to the keyword rich domain name. So clients who already know your name will find you AND people who don’t know you but want to find a good purse….will find you as well. There are many articles on this – be sure to investigate getting a great domain name and you will be further ahead with your SEO. It is so inexpensive and easy, I can advise you if you need assistance.
KNOW WHAT YOU ARE PAYING FOR NOW: I have a client who was paying for dial up service and did not know and they never used it. Shame on the company for not fixing this and just blatantly taking their money. I would run, run, run away from some businesses that do things like this knowing you are not using a service yet still paying for it. Please review what you have regarding bandwidth, domains, connection speeds, etc. If you current company is not living up to their promises try to get them to fix this, if they will not, change businesses. There are choices – only work with smart, fair business owners.
ARE YOU POSTING?: Some people think that “cool – I am on Facebook now everyone will find me!” er, not so fast there Sherlock. You have to tell people when you make a blog post. Link it on Facebook, Share it on Linkedin, throw it on StumbleUpon, Make a Tweet and shout it out. If you don’t promote yourself, the next guy will and he/she will start blowing by you in the rankings with a site that is boring, while your pretty graphic one is like a ghost town. Why? Because noone knows about it silly! “but I don’t want to sell or appear pushy”.…..ok then, there are lots of plastics manufacturing jobs out there for $7/hour – find a new job that does not require selling. There are choices in life. Make a few and make some moola.
eNews for November 16th, 2011
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CYBER MONDAY: What is Cyber Monday? It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving where people go to work, grab a coffee, chat a bit, go their desk, take out their credit card and start shopping online for Christmas gifts. If you want things to arrive for Christmas that’s a great day to do it. Also, there are many huge colossal Cyber Monday Sales! Buy domain names cheaply, get special hosting packages, etc. Think about what you want to do for gifts and plan your cyber Monday purchases now. A great eNews tip.
eNews for October 24th, 2011
EDIT CAREFULLY: Many of my customers produce heaps of writing that will eventually turn into a page or a blog post. As a website designer there is a lot of time spent reviewing the writing and inserting keywords and links and such. If you are doing this for someone else be sure to just simply edit the work and make sure that their particular “voice” is coming through. I have a significant challenge before me now as I am working with someone who spent 15 years in England. She has been working diligently to product content and has done a great job. I am finding British slang peppered about the writing and it certainly makes for interesting reading! If you are not editing, you should be checking those blog posts. Have a friend review your work. They will be flattered you asked for assistance and they will be kind, as they are your friend. Make sure it is your “voice” coming through too! (I am keeping in all the British-isms as she speaks this way too. With phone conversations with her clients – she needs to have her genuine voice break through over the phone as well as the blog. Keep this in mind!
LEARN SOMETHING NEW: I have been watching many videos produced from the great people who organize WordCamp and WordPress.tv and I am finding out that yes, I need to learn the new things! Responsive Design is one of those “new things” for moi. Take a look at mediaqueri.es and see all the different ways your site can be “called up” and displayed. If it means you have a more “responsive” design – that’s the way to go. Make sure you work with people that stay up on the good stuff……….:-)
eNews for October 5th, 2011
INNOVATION: If you have a good idea that is not currently in the marketplace, now is the time to make it happen. Why do I say this? Did Steve Jobs hang around and just work for other people or did he act on his ideas? Of course, he made things happen. Many people talk, talk, talk but few actually make their ideas happen. Can you clear away all the busy things you do and make time for your one big idea? Is it a cool ebook? Is it a delivery system for businesses? Is it a new way for referrals online? Whatever it is…..what exactly are you waiting for? If you have a vision for a future business application make it happen. Do it.
eNews for September 28, 2011
FINE TUNING YOUR ABOUT PAGE: I have some recent clients that feel the need to tell their life story on their “About” pages. Try not to do this practice. It gets a little tedious and frankly, people want things to be centered more about THEM than YOU. They don’t care that you used to be involved with bike racing, or rescue puppies, or had the honor of being Captain of the synchronized swim team in high school. Basically, I’m saying you should stay focused. Give them the information necessary to know your skills and experience that will convince them to work with you – and that’s it. Be clear and simple, that’s the best policy and my short eNews tip of the day!
eNews for September 18, 2011
IMAGES AND TEXT: As you begin to blogging you realize the importance of pictures. Sending something the Facebook? It better have a cool pic to go with the text – it is more likely to be read. When I work on my clients blogs not all the themes are the same. Sometimes I feel like Sherlock Holmes investigating how to uncover the trick to doing this or that. But that makes my job interesting. Friday was a tad frustrating. I could not get the text to wrap around an image. And this site had widgets on either side so the text area was thin…..having an image by itself looked odd. After a thorough investigation I determined that for some reason the beginning paragraph codes <p> and the ending codes </p> were not there. After inserting these codes, everything lined up perfectly. Just thought I’d pass this along if you, too were in this spot. Remember to begin and end the paragraphs properly or else the image is assumed to be part of the previous text.
CHANGE YOUR HOME PAGE: I know you put a lot of time and effort into your home page. I know you love, love, love it – but your clients and future customers get bored easily. Change things up. Add a special button that links to your specials page. It’s fall now – so maybe make the button in fun fall colors. Announce your business anniversary. Announce a special online only offer – or be a little more focused about collecting emails. People like it when you change things up – life is too routine….adding activity is good and Google likes it too! For more eNews Tips by Jan see more below:
eNews for September 13, 2011
ABOUT PAGES: So I am checking out a big web design company nearby and their about page is very sketchy…..like cartoon pics of the main set of owners and their first name only. Ah, really? Are you hiding something? Why not tell us who you are and are you not proud of your company? Tsk, tsk. If there is not a real person’s name on a company website I bounce off faster than you can say BYE! Just a pet peeve of mine I guess. Does this bother anyone else? Solution: Put your name on your “About Page” and be proud of your business, because if you don’t care, I (as a potential client) don’t care either.
eNews for September 5, 2011
DOMAIN NAMES: This is important stuff. Pay attention! If you pick a domain name that is cute or what you think is “catchy” or completely random or a series of odd letters – how do you think people will find your site? Smoke signals perhaps? I recently came across a Search Optimization Guru type person whose site is something like www.nlity.net and I was like REALLY?? Yes, you can still guide people to your site using good descriptions and keywords and other fun things but if all your potential customers are searching for SEO and you don’t have it in your domain name and it is what you do – kind of a fail moment. Selling baby things? Put “baby” somewhere in the domain. Better yet, do some cool Google Keyword Tool research and use names that you know that 12,345 a month are searching for and there you go. Proper planning prevents . . . . (you know how it goes) plan ahead mateys or else your ship will sink.
SPEAKING OF DOMAIN NAMES: We are now in September and the holidays are just ahead. What happens the day after Thanksgiving? Anyone? . . . Bueller? CORRECT! Massive sales. What happens the Monday AFTER Thanksgiving? Cyber Monday! (commence happy dance in front of cat). On both of these days you can get massive, extrodinary, super colossal, mind blowing discounts off of regular prices. What’s a website design person to do? Take this time to produce quality blog posts written, navigation layed out, color schemes decided, keyword research perhaps (see above) – basically, you should prepare to launch new fun websites. It’s what we do now right? Why not take advantage of all the online sales? So sit tight – get your game face on and prepare so you are ready to launch and buy new domain names and new hosting packages at the end of November! Such a great time. I know, I am slightly nuts. But you gotta love a good deal. Good idea? Send my page to the Twittervillas!
eNews for August 13, 2011
GOOD LINKBUIlDING: You have heard of people talking about getting backlinks to your site right? This means that other sites feel your content is important enough to want to link to the site. In this eNews installment I suggest placing your listings on directories. Directories usually have a high Page Rank. If a site with a higher page rank than yours links to you that gives you some great “link juice” as they say. Here is a link to a list of strong directory sites and the higher ranked directories are on the top. Go for the FREE ones first. You can decide later if you think yahoo is worth $299 or not. (nope, not to me) BUT you should click through to these sites and add your site. Make sure your email address matchs your domain (don’t use your @gmal.com email account here). Have fun! Build those links!
eNews for AUGUST 10, 2011
POP CULTURE: I like to use references to pop culture from time to time because it is fun, interesting and reminds people that that we don’t have to be so stuffy in explaining things. I get bored reading the same old things and I know my readers do too. Occasionally I throw in a music video, too. It’s just what I do. What kind of personality will your blogsite have? Serious? Snarky? Raving? or Factually polite? (zzZZzz). Be bold and let your personality come through – we all need more pizzazz in our lives don’t you think?
COLOR: When you are thinking about designing your site you should really have a good idea as to how it will look. Come up with adjectives that you want the reader to feel when they first see your site: this site looks serious, informative, silly, whimsical, mommy blogging, crazy, depressing, earthy green friendly, etc. What colors would you use to portray these feelings? Look at a site called colourlovers.com and play around with different palettes. Maybe one or two colors will inspire you – it’s fun too. But don’t use more than 4 colors in your website or things might be a bit too busy. I tend to do that – sorry, but I like colors!
eNews for JULY 29, 2011
I FINALLY KILLED ADDTHIS: Why? Well, sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not. So I had to reload it. And all the counts go back to zero – all the cool sharing counts. Oh well. Today, I posted a new blog post about changes with Google Places Reviews and I got a lot of traffic, but AddThis was not working. C ya later AddThis. Just did not even feel like telling the developers. I just moved on. The new floating one I hope is not too annoying. It is a new plug-in called Scrolling Tweet Like Google +1 Linkedin and Stumbleupon. Let me know what you think. Got a cool new website done today for a client and started a new one…..staying busy! Check out surfer tunes on that last post too. (sigh, I miss the beach)
eNews for JULY 25, 2011
WORPRESS: Did you know that you don’t have to squeeze your words together for your nickname on your WordPress blog? Who knew? So instead of KingPizzaMan you can have simply King Pizza Man. Reads better huh? So spaces are ok afterall. (Somehow this will mess me up later thinking spaces are ok everywhere…..sigh)
GOOGLE PAGE RESULTS: So now when you get results in Google everyone is all “Gotta be on page 1 – or else why bother?” This is a common phrase you hear from the SEO expert$. They put the fear in your head that if you are not on page one – simply pack up your lunchbox and go home. Whoa there – not so fast. It appears that Google is heading towards the way of Google Images Results in which the results just keep on loading….scroll city….keep scrolling – yep….there’s more! So the difference in page one or two or three might not be so noticeable. Moral of this eNews tip? In some cases Google is wrong, but I think they have this new results page correct! Don’t fear the SEO expert$ and keep on doing all that you can to get search results. Keep it going and don’t give up: backlinks, article marketing, directory submissions, content writing, SEO, keywords….be diligent and all will be great
eNews for JULY 14, 2011
PLUG-INs: So how is your wordpress blog doing in the Plug-In Department? Do you have them? Are you using them to enhance your site? Good! Now, if you are a bit daring go to the Plug-in area of your blog and scroll down to “add new”. Now, just for fun take a look at the link that says “newest”. There are many new plug-ins being developed all the time. Take a look at some of the new ones and if something sounds interesting and helpful to your blog give it a try. Some people are cautious and only load up new plug-ins on test sites to try them out. I loaded up a new one today called WP Single Post Navigation and I like it. See it on this post entitled ‘Set It and Forget It’ – Good for Chicken, but Bad Website Tactic. Look at the lime green links on the side…hover over…change to yellow they will send you up or back one blog post. Very simple navigation, very easy. nice plug-in. Don’t be afraid to be a leader and try something new. You don’t have to wait for your friends to suggest something – be adventurous and find a cool new plug-in and TELL THEM about it next time!
eNews for June 21, 2011
FACEBOOK COST PER CLICK: Are you doing Facebook Advertising? Are you using the Cost per Click model? or the Cost per Impression? Understand they are NOT the same. Facebook made some changes not too long ago that gives the “impression” model less quality placements. Yes, you are getting eyeballs looking at the ad, but it is not the optimum placement. If you are just doing an awareness type of campaign that’s fine. But if you really want the actually click-throughs – go for the CPC model. It is going to give you better placement and will result in more actual clicks to either your website or your facebook page.
POSTS: Don’t forget to actually post something new on your blogsiteI It’s sad I have to mention this, but there are people trying to do massive optimizing on their site with no recent content. Google is looking for good (great) content to see if you are going to be relevant enough to show up on the first few pages of search results. How can you do this without posting anything? Do it! Buy a cheap calendar and start marking the days you MUST post something. Hang that calendar up and look at it! Nothing like a big reminder.
FACEBOOK THUMBNAIL IMAGES: If you have a decent image on the left graphic for your business fan page.you should occasionally switch things up and focus on a certain section of that graphic for the thumbnail image. Some people might say — noooo consistancy! And I say back yes go ahead and switch out your graphics and thumbnail images every once in a while. Why? Life is boring enough – let’s spice things up! Remember this is the tiny image your fans SEE all the time. Why not give them a splash of summer color or announce a SPECIAL in that tiny square? Don’t you want them to click on it? YES! Switch things up and have some social media graphic fun! (Here’s my page, let’s connect!)
LINKEDIN: I’m on LinkedIn more than I think sometimes. Guess this is my first tip for the business social media site. What bothers me about LinkedIn is that when you need to call a colleague in your group – you scroll to their profile and it takes you a ton of time to find the phone number. Do you think they do this on purpose — yep. My advice? Get your phone number visible in the summary of your profile so it shows up in the top half of your profile. People can find your phone number fast and call you without enlisting a search party for that phone number.
eNews for May 25, 2011
WORDPRESS – Many people like to show you some other “related posts” after you spend the time reading one of their posts. There are a few companies that will help you direct people to other posts. I was using a popular one called “LinkWithin” but recently I switched. Turns out that the LinkWithin people were taking the link, making it go back to their site and then back to my site…..hey! you stole my LINK JUICE DUDE! Sometimes I do wonder if you put all us nerd folk in a room we will start talking oddly like my Star Trek friends. So the new one I am using now is called nRelate. Check them both out and decide for yourself. Now all I have to do is to figure out how to get the share buttons to appear above the nRelate suggestions to my other posts. Hmm, another new project. Such is the life of the WordPress blog owner!
WRITING STYLES – Everyone has a different writing style. Your friend might write in a more direct fashion. Another friend writes (and talks) full of analogies. Some people drop “the” and “a” all over the place because their brain is ahead of the typing. What is your goofy writing trait? I bet you don’t know. Have someone edit your work and you will know right away. Having a fresh set of eyes on your writing does help. One of my clients is having a friend help her write something because my style is not her style. Works for me – I am just going to do the keyword stuffing, er….”adding” <H1> headers, etc. This person’s writing style is excellent. Embrace new things and don’t be afraid to ask for writing assistance. Good eNews advice!
WORDPRESS 404 ERRORS – If you make changes to your site the robot crawlers are going to be looking for something you had up there before that, alas is no more. What to do? Don’t freak out if it is just a little thing – like one 404 error, it will go away eventually. But if you have a ton of errors for one url that is gone – you better redirect those bots or Google will slam you down in rankings for not taking care of things. Use a plug-in called Redirection. In order to redirect you need to know what the 404 url error is now right? Using a wonderful plug-in called Ultimate SEO works well because they show you all your 404 errors. I use this over All-in-One, Greg’s (what a waste of time), SEO Platinum, etc. give it a whirl! It is very complete….fill everything out, watch their video – you will rank higher!
eNews for 5/6/11
FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE NAMES: Remember when Mark Z. wanted to buy that domain fb.com? Well, he did. What does that mean? It means you might just have a little more space on your business card instead of writing:
Facebook.com/GetYouStartedeMarketing You could write fb.com/getyoustartedemarketing Hey! My name is long enough already!? Thanks FB!
MORE FACEBOOK NAMES INFO: Do you have a unique Facebook name for your page? I might have mentioned this before but I still see a lot of business pages with Facebook.com/joes-diner-3902390!@()349084502723908452 (ugh!) for their page. When Joe has over 300 fans and has not taken facebook.com/joesdiner (all you need is 25 fans to get a unique name). Gee, which FB name is easier to promote to your fans? He could easily have a sticker on his cash register that says
“Like” us on Facebook/joesdiner
Simple, easy. Just go to http://www.facebook.com/username/ and get that name you want! And as the cashier is counting change, your customer is making a mental note to go to your site and rave about your pastrami on rye….unless napping occurs first.
eNews for 4/19/11
WORDPRESS COMMENTS ON/OFF – With the upgrade to 3.1.1 the WordPress developers have decided to “hide” the comments on/off function. If you have a static front page (like this site) and blog posts within (like here) there are pages that are appropriate for comments and ones that are not. Somehow I left comments on my archive page, sigh….anyway…..don’t worry. See my comments blog post about this very problem. (HINT: look at the “screen options” area top right….click it. See all the things you are and are NOT seeing in your edit post area. Ah ha! moment….eyebrows raised…. Another quick tip: discussion = comments,yeah, who knew?
LINK TO NEW WINDOW – When you are linking in and out of your blog be sure to send people to a new window. Don’t let them lose their place as they are reading your blog. Things tend to work out better that way.
FACEBOOK – As much as I love Facebook, there seems to be a lot of people’s logins getting hijacked (commence spamming) and Facebook is making changes with some kind of random throw darts at a board algorithm. But truly focus more of your attention on the content in your Blogsite and spend less time on Facebook. It is controlled by someone else. You control your Blogsite. Think about it.
TWITTER HASHTAGS – What are these silly things for you ask? The ” # ” actually emphasizes a word that might be searched by other members of your conference or group or some cool trending topic where you might want to read everyone’s 140 characters of gossip or info. It is a marvelous way to group your searches. Best thing to do is to use it on a keyword in your bio. If people search on #Etsy you will be blessed with many artists eager to share their wares with you!
eNews for March 16, 2011
THINGS TO DO AFTER YOUR BLOG POST IS PUBLISHED: Mention it on Twitter (with a link). Share it on Facebook (with a link, pick the right picture). Wait a few days, make sure you fixed issues, then Make an update on LinkedIn (with picture). Find a blog to comment on, if they have commentluv, you get a link back to that blog post. Hit the social media buttons once in a while and get it into circulation on Stumbleupon, Digg, Delicious and all the other necessary ones. Basically, don’t just sit there and wait for your blog to be noticed – get it out there!
eNews for February 10th, 2011
PASSWORDS OH MY!: Keeping track of your passwords should not be a headache. Take the time to write down your passwords in a secure notebook or “cloud type” software system where you can easily keep track of them. And no, you cannot use the same password everyone. If someone gets it – you are most likely doomed. you do realize that paypal is linked to your bank account. Right? Are you using the same email there too? Thank again.
KEEP COLOR HEX-CODES HANDY: Whenever I am working on a new site for a customer I need to have the color hex-codes handy because you don’t want to use 6 different types of blue on a site. It just starts to look like a ransom note. Need to check a color? Use Color-hex.com to help you with different shades. I like how the color you picked in listed on the tab, so you can quickly glance at it as you use it. Try it and see for yourself (very handy tool!)
eNews for January 20th, 2011
ADOPT NEW THINGS: I did not know what else to title this but for some reason I see many people just using the old “tried and true” things or, er plug-ins that do work, but over time the developers don’t update them as much. Keep in mind there are new plug-ins being developed all the time. Be adventurous and see what new gizmo has been invented in the world of plug-ins. I did this recently and was amazed to find a gem that I use on almost all my sites now. Some day that one will be outdated. Don’t get stuck in a rut.
GIVE VALUE: When writing a blog post it would be a great idea to give some value in the post. Many times I find myself clicking through on awesome blog titles in LinkedIn only to find a post on “here’s how you boil water”. Huh? I have to hold myself back from leaving a snarky comment. I do! Truly, when you waste someone’s time they kinda don’t like that….they could have been texting with a 13 year old…lol, k, wa?, j/k, – same effect.