Monday, December 20, 2004

We just want to take a moment to wish everyone a wonderful holiday. We've decided to scale back a bit during the holidays so our next useful post :o) will be on Jan. 3rd. We hope during this season you take some time out to spend with your family and friends.

Friday, December 17, 2004

We had talkes some earlier about upselling and cross selling on your site - the following article gives a nice explanation along with ten tips on making it work (or making it work better).

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

How is search engine marketing doing? How is it growing. You can find details and a nice report on the following link.

The barrel is pretty full today so we'll give you some wrap up thoughts tomorrow and then talk some more about links next week.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

One of the things we need to make sure of before we work on contacting links is to make sure we have our own site in order. Today we'll talk about our links page -

Some people speculate that it is better to name the resources page something other than links.htm. They suggest using something like resources.htm. That however is up to you - if your site has been around a while and your page has some good page rank then don't change it.

Make sure that the links page is linked to every page in your site.
Once you get more than 20 links or so on the page make sure to subdivide that page into individual category pages. Then you want to make sure these individual category page are listed on your site map.

On the links page make sure that you have instructions and requirements for how people can contact you for a link - include html code that they can cut / copy / paste. List the types of links your looking for and one's that you won't accept.

Make sure to include specific steps on how to contact you. As you get questions from potential link partners make sure to list those questions/answers in a mini faq.

Till tomorrow take care.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

One thing about links before we go further is can links to your site penalize you... let's thing about this for a moment. If bad sites linking to you could penalize you then your competitors would all be putting your links on bad sites. You have no control over who links to you ... only who you link to. We'll discuss this further as we go along on how to choose a site that would be a good link.

A good article discusses this on SEO Chat -

The rest of the week we'll talk about choosing sites you want to link with.


Monday, December 13, 2004

Hope you enjoyed your weekend and got all your shopping done. This week we'll continue talking about links and how to do them. Till tomorrow we hope you enjoy your Monday.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Hope you enjoyed your week. We're going on a shopping adventure today and hopefully it will all be finished by the time we hit the check out counter. I found this article pretty interesting in my inbox this morning - eight ways to not optimize your site. Some good reading.

Have a good weekend.


Thursday, December 09, 2004

One thing I think many people forget about during the link process is keeping track. It's pretty easy to do -

1) Create a spreadsheet.
2) Across the top list the following - Site - Link page - Page rank - Contact info - Contacted - Link up - Recontact - Recip link - check link.

Site - Name / URL of the site.
Link page - Where their links page is.
Page rank - Page rank of the links page.
Contact info - How to contact them / Form or email address.
Contacted - Date you contacted them.
Link up - Date you put their link on your site.
Recontact - Date you recontacted them.
Recip link - Date your link is on their site.
Link page - Where your link is located on their site.
check link - Every month or two make sure your link is still on their site.

We'll continue or discussion on this next week.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

So on with some talk of getting links - first before we talk about anything you need to decide how you are going to get other sites to link with you.

Let's pretend for a moment that you sell socks online.

Your main keywords are:

black socks
white socks
mens socks
ugly socks

So you need to create some links / link text for each of those keywords - the MAIN thing to remember is that we want those keywords in the link text and in the descriptive text. Another thing is that you do not have to point that page to the index page on your site - after you have a good pagerank on the front page - 5 or 6 - you can start working on targetting individual pages.

So a link for black socks would look something like this -

Black Socks - Black socks and more can be found at My Ugly Socks.

Then create the links for the other keywords. Now when you are seeking links rotate them. More tomorrow on links.


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I know I mentioned we were going to be talking some about links - but in reading my email this morning I came across some instructions on creating a Christmas greeting / Movie. You might find it interesting as well.

Hope you enjoy it as well.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Just a reminder we'll be talking this week a bit about links and link strategies. If you aren't subscribed to our newsletter make sure that you check it out on the web.

Have a good one.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Couple of articles of note -

Explorer loses more market share -

And there is some talk of a Google link dampening change - I think we'll discuss a little more about links in next weeks discussion.

So make sure to read it and next week starting on Tuesday we'll talk more about it.
Till then have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The federal government is offering a free credit report every year. You can find details at the following site -

It's on a rollout schedule based on where you live.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I had a client call us this morning excited about getting their first order from their site - they were excited about getting it, but were wondering how someone found them when the site had been only open for a day.

My response to her was to ask the client. Just explain that you're doing market research and ask them how they found you. Some folks won't remember exactly how they found you but others will.

Till tomorrow,

Have a wonderful day. Tim

Monday, November 29, 2004

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving - we had a great time eating turkey, watching football and playing with my daughter Haley, so needless to say we had a very enjoyable time.

This week I'm not sure exactly what we're going to talk about yet, so we'll play it by ear.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

We've had some computer malfunctions this week - a reminder if you haven't done a backup recently then don't forget to do it... today, right now!

We'll resume our posting after the Thanksgiving holidays - just want to take a moment to wish you and yours a safe, happy, fun holiday.

Tim and Lisa

Monday, November 15, 2004

It's Monday - hope your email is bustling with those holiday orders. Seems like the holiday shopping season starts earlier every year. Have you made your site shopper friendly -if not, or if you're in doubt make sure to check out the archives. I can't believe that Thanksgiving is next week.... Not sure yet what exactly we'll be talking about this week but hopefully it will be something useful.

Take care,

Friday, November 12, 2004

Hope you had a good week. Big news this week is Microsoft unveiled their "new" search engine - check out how your sites ranking for the keywords at the link below.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Got this article a couple of days ago and it's pretty interesting.

Do I Need an RSS Feed?
By S. Housley
RSS has been around for more than 10 years but has only recently become popular. RSS provides headlines and summaries of information in a concise and standardized way.
Benefits for Publishers
1.) Avoid Spam Filters
Statisticians estimate that 70% of the email transferred each day is spam (unsolicited email). With that statistic, even opt-in users risk losing valuable messages in the cesspool of spam. RSS feeds effectively nullify spam as an issue. Requesting feeds allow users to maintain complete control over the content they view. Users can easily opt-in and out of feeds that provide content of interest or importance.
2.) Expanded Reach
RSS allows publishers to reach a number of new and different markets that typically are less crowded with competition. Many small businesses are often slow to adopt or learn new technologies, giving businesses that lead the way a competitive advantage.
3.) Content Syndication
Syndication of feeds increases exposure.

4.) Repeat Visitors
RSS is all about repeat visitors. Users who have previously visited a site often have a stronger connection to the site and are more likely to purchase or trust the information on the site.

5.) Free web traffic
As the internet has evolved, many webmasters have found that what was once free traffic must now be paid for in order to sustain decent visitor statistics. RSS is in a unique position to bring free traffic because they are content-driven, and if they include interesting or valuable information, will pique the curiosity of web-surfers and entice them to visit a particular site.

6.) Less Effort
Newsletters and E-zines undeniably bring visitors, but the effort involved in creating, distributing and maintaining a newsletter can be a burden. Maintaining the list, ensuring the list is clean, growing the subscriber base, updating and removing bad e-mail addresses, all take time. RSS feeds are not burdened with those issues. There are easy-to-use RSS feed creation tools that require little effort, allowing publishers to recycle content, often simply cutting and pasting into RSS feed creation software.

FeedForAll RSS feed creation -

Consider supplementing existing communication venues with RSS. Place the contents of newsletters into feeds and measure the results. You might be surprised at the added traffic.
Examples of various feeds with different intended purposes -

RSS feed -

Establishing expertise in a specific field.
Business Feed -

Contains product and industry information.
Marketing Feed -

Builds relationships, endorses products in industry sector.

RSS has potential to help companies develop strong relationships with consumers and creating brand loyalty with customers. While the world will not end tomorrow, nor will business come to a screeching halt if you don't use an RSS feed, there are a number of reasons online businesses should consider using RSS feeds.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. and FeedForAll .

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

We talked about Firefox a little last week - Search Day is doing a series on the browser - you can check it out at the following link.

Also another good article on some obvious web design mistakes.

Have a good one.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I'm not sure exactly what we'll be talking about this week. I guess we'll play it by ear.

I am horrible at copywriting - if you're in the same boat you may want to check out this book from Ken Evoy and crowd -

Till tomorrow - we hope you have a wonderful day.

Friday, November 05, 2004

A few days ago we talked about making sure your site looks good in any browser, below is some evidence to back that up.,10801,97176,00.html?f=x259

Now may be a good time - if you haven't already - to see how your site looks using Firefox.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

A while back there was some discussion about a three click rule - basically it was assumed that your customers would click three times and then leave. Does that rule still apply. Click on the link below for some nice discussion on that subject.

Till tomorrow,

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

So how can you make your site comfortable?

1) Make sure everything is spelled out - make sure they know things like -
a) when will there order ship.
b) exactly what is your refund policy.
c) can they track their order.
d) make sure they know you'll be sending them email - filters etc. block out a lot of mail, make sure that they know the email address you'll be using.

2) Use good descriptions / images for your product. Include the exact size / color / of the product.

3) Make sure you have all your contact information on each page.

4) Explain exactly how the order process will work.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Sorry for the non posts a couple of times last week. Tomorrow don't forget to vote - doesn't matter who you vote for - just do it. We won't be posting on the blog tomorrow - we'll resume Weds. with some things that we missed last week.

Till then have a wonderful Monday.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Confidence -

So how can you instill confidence in your buyers?

1) Provide testimonials from your current customers. How do you get testimonials? Believe it or not the easiest way is to ask them for one. Some will trickle in on their on, but the easiest way is to email them and ask how they like your product, what can you do to make it better.

2) Include an about us page that tells about you , why you decided to start the business, what makes you different from some of the other folks.

3) Include your phone number and easy to find contact information.

Till tomorrow,
have a good one.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Warm and Fuzzy - so what does that mean? There are several different ways that you can make your site warm and fuzzy.

1. Security.
2. Confidence.
3. Comfort.

Today we're going to talk a little about security. Prospective buyers want to know and be assured that -

a) No one is going to take there credit card information.
b) There personal information is going to be safe.
c) They won't be getting spam if they ordered.

So here are some tips -

1) Make sure your order process is secure - make sure that you tell your customers it is secure.
2) Have a privacy policy - tell them exactly what you're going to do with their personal information. Make sure that you explicity tell them what you're going to do with their information (I know I repeated myself, but it is important).
3) Explain to them how and what kind of email communication they'll get from you (and what they won't get).

Tomorrow we'll talk some more, till then have a wonderful day.

Monday, October 25, 2004

This week we're going to continue our talk on getting ready for the holidays - sorry we missed Friday :o) Below is an article I also think is relavent -

Internet Tip of the Week
by Bob Osgoodby
Information Overload
We receive so much information on the Internet, especially via email, that many times we have difficulty separating the good "stuff" from the junk. Most of us put unsolicited email (spam) in the junk category. By the time we weed through all that "stuff" however, we are approaching information overload, and may give "short shrift" to the really good information we receive.
One way to overcome this very real problem, is to create email filters for things you may wish to read at a future time. For example, create a generic filter for the ezines or newsletters you subscribe to, or one for each. This will then automatically separate this good "stuff" from the junk. You can then keep your "inbox" clean and read the information at your leisure when you are less harried.
Use your email filters to weed out the junk. It only takes a moment or so to create a filter, and this will keep all the repeat spam out of your inbox. The best way to filter spam, is not to filter on the senders email address. Most of these are forged anyway, and are different every time. Pick out some "key words" contained in the body of the message. "Stop Snoring, Own an offshore retirement fund, $16,000+ with ONE $20 gift" just to name a few. Filter out those emails that match your key words.
Some of the spam is one time only and you don't need to be concerned with that. One way to do it, is to create a folder titled "Spam". Every day, instead of simply deleting them, transfer them to this folder. If you see a pattern developing, you can easily pick out the worst offenders, and create a filter for them.
When you subscribe to an ezine or newsletter, don't make a summary judgment that you don't want it. Most publishers try to provide a "variety" of items, and it may take several issues before you both click. Like a baseball player, don't expect a "homerun" every time at bat. Give it a half-dozen or so issues before making up your mind. You may simply get an issue that doesn't appeal to you, but the next might be a winner.
Some people go so far as to set up a separate email account just for their personal use, and another for their ezines, which is not a bad idea. But, if you do this, for goodness sake remember which one you used. Most publishers use list servers for their mailings. You can't unsubscribe from a publication except from the address that they have on file. To prevent the "cranksters" from running amok, they require you to be signed on the address they have on file in order to be removed.
If you decide you don't want a particular publication any longer, try to unsubscribe, and if you get a message that you are not on the list, it does little good to rant and rave. If you're not there, you're not there - period. While most publishers don't want people on their list who don't wish to receive it, they have no idea what email address you used when subscribing.
Most publishers will make an honest effort to remove you from their list, and threats to report them for spamming, will not help them to remove you. The majority of the time the people who complain are using a free email account, and are automatically forwarding the mail to their main address. To compound matters, they forgot they are doing this, and get aggravated when they can't unsubscribe under their main email address.
If you are receiving a publication and cannot unsubscribe, filter their publication automatically into your trash basket. This will save you and the publisher a lot of aggravation.
There is a great deal of information on the Internet. If you approach it wisely, you will benefit. If you don't, you may be suffering from information overload, and deleting some really good information mixed in with all the junk mail you receive.
Did you know that subscribers to Bob Osgoodby's Free Ezine the "Tip of the Day" get a Free Ad for their Business at his Web Site? Great Business and Computer Tips – Monday. Wednesday. and Friday. Instructions on how to place an ad are in the Newsletter. Subscribe at:

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I got this article yesterday and thought I would substitute it for what I was going to talk about today - it's still very pertinant - about keeping things simple.

Simplify for Success
The distractions of complexity are everywhere.
Look Around!
Your customer’s business, decisions, interactions and communications with their
customers are continuing to get more complex. Today’s sales landscape offers more
products, more services, more options, more choices and more providers than ever
before. Business is moving at a dizzying pace and people are trying to juggle more
projects, more priorities, more responsibility and more balance.
Salespeople and business owners are trying to manage more customers, more
information, more technology and more distractions that have nothing to do with
selling more products and services.

This is not a picture of doom and gloom but rather a picture of opportunity. This is an opportunity to communicate more effectively, to follow-through more thoroughly and
your opportunity to make your customer’s life easier, and more profitable! To sell
more and increase profits immediately, simplify the following areas:


GET TO THE POINT! Never say in 100 words what can be said in 25 words. The
important part is the substance of what you say rather than how long you take to say it. Simplify by cutting in half any written, verbal or e-mail communication with your
customer. Begin a proposal or presentation by simply stating the three key points
around which you will provide impact to your customer. Be clear and concise in all
that you say.


This doesn’t mean eliminate preparation and start "winging it" through sales
presentations. Break planning into fifteen minute segments and designate a topic
for each block.


Help your customers buy rather than just trying to sell them. Help your customers
buy in both short and long cycles through the use of multiple resources, decision
making levels and relationships.


Repeatedly practice your delivery and presentation with an emphasis on being
conversational. Emphasize the skill of talking with your customer rather than talking
to your customer. Breathing is the key to both tone and pace so insure that you have
plenty of air in your lungs.


When it comes to productive sales behavior, follow-through ranks as the highest
priority. It is the most talked about and least executed activity in the sales toolbox. You will service your customers at a higher level and sell more when you execute on follow-through relentlessly. It is the one or two things you do differently that make
you memorable in the mind of your customer. Never underestimate the power of
urgency and immediacy. Stated simply, you must do what you say you will do
consistently and with greater focus if you want to put significant distance between
you and your competition!


Here’s the bottom line: Your customer wants you to simplify their life by simplifying their experience! Your customer is looking for every way possible to increase their
sales and improve the profitability and performance of their company. You possess
key strategies, services and products to make these goals a reality.

SIMPLIFY the experience for your customers and get ready to increase your sales,
margin and effectiveness BIG TIME!

Brent Patmos is President & CEO of Perpetual Development, Inc., specializing in
Sales Training, sales seminars and consulting. Mr. Patmos can be reached at

Till tomorrow,

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Load times - Even though many people have high speed internet access, many people don't (about half of your potential customers). If your site takes a month to load then they aren't going to wait.

A great place to check your load times can be found at the following link -

So how can you speed up your site -

1) Keep flash etc. to a minimum.
2) Optimize your images.
3) Use thumbnails if you have a lot of images - make sure that you have two images saved - a large one for when folks click on the link and a smaller one for the thumbnail - many times I've seen sites that have both saved as the same image, that basically defeats the purpose.

Have a good one.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Browser compatability - a while back you could safely design your site for Explorer and forget about it. These days with all the security problems many people are switching to different browsers. The main browsers these folks are checking out are -

Mozilla -

Firefox -

Safari - This is apples alternative.

The best thing to do is -

a) download the browser.
b) check out your site.
c) place an order.

How do things work - any glaring problems work on correcting them.

Monday, October 18, 2004

This week we're going to continue our series on getting your site ready for the holidays. This week we're going to talk some about the look and feel.

Tuesday - Browser compatability.
Weds - Load times.
Thursday - Warm and fuzzy - how secure is your site.

Hope you have a great Monday.


Friday, October 15, 2004

Hopefully you learned a bit this week in our series on prepping your site for the holidays - really I should have started the series sooner but better late than ever.

Remember that many times we get blinded when working on our sites - what may be simple and plain for us may not be for someone else. Things we look at day in and day out may be hidden to others. That's why it is extremely important to get feedback - from your friends and especially from your customers.

The next week or two we'll continue talking about some tweaks that you can make to your site.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Here are some questions to ask the test subject -

1) Was their anything difficult about the order process - if so what?
2) What would be one thing that would make the process easier?
3) Do you have any suggestions for additional products?
4) Could you easily find -
a) Sign up for the newsletter.
b) Toll free / phone number.
c) Contact information.
5) Did you feel secure on the site?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Now some things to consider -

1) How long did it take them to buy the products. If its more than 4 or 5 minutes how can you streamline the process.
2) Did they ever appear to get lost in the process - if they did get lost - where did they get lost at. Did you provide an easy map to get unlost?
3) Did they hesitate any during the order process - why did they hesitate. If something was unclear, what was it, how you can you make it clear.
4) Was it easy for them to find the second product. If not why? What can you do to correct it.

The order process should be no more than two or three clicks at the most to order.
At each stage of the order process - the next step should be outlined clearly - as well as instructions for how to do the current step.
Contact information - including a telephone number - should be provided in case folks get lost along the way.
Security of your site / pages / should be highlighted during the process.
Explain to people what you're going to be doing with their personal information.
Reiterate why they should trust you.
Perhaps include a testimonial or two within the process.

Tomorrow we'll talk a little about some questions you can ask your test subjects.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The next thing to do to get your site ready for the holidays is to think of five or so good friends that you know well that aren't your current customers. Invite them individually to your house and give them an assignment on your site - you can't give them hints.

Ask them to pretend they are shopping for "x item". Point the browser to your front page and watch them as they navigate to buy the product. Just before they enter in their credit card information tell them that they just remembered that they need "y item" as well.

The more obscure the "x and y item" the better - ie it shouldn't be visible on your front page at all. Tomorrow we'll talk about some things that you could learn from this experiment.


Monday, October 11, 2004

This week we'll be talking about some more things you can do to your site to get ready for the holidays.

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful weekend, I know we did. It is getting cooler hear and the leaves are starting to change colors. So we know that winter is just around the corner (whether we like it or not).


Friday, October 08, 2004

Hopefully you enjoyed the series this past week. Haley has a day off from school, so if everything goes according to plan it may be a long weekend for us as well :o).

Next week I think we'll continue on some touch-ups you can do in preperation for the holiday season. Hope you have a great weekend too!


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Spread the word - one of the best methods of promotion is word of mouth. Whenever we get a client referral we know that the "selling" part of our job is so much easier. So how can you get referrals:

1. Ask - ask and you shall receive! When you send a follow up note to make sure your product arrived, and they are satisfied with it ask them to send you more business.
2. Bribe them - you can include that if they send you a new customer and they buy something you'll give them a discount or something free.
3. Make it easy - make sure to include your websites URL / contact information where it's appropriate on your product. You may want to include a small free gift like a magnet, pencil etc. Remember out of site is usually out of mind.

Till tomorrow,

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Why Buy? Some things you need to make sure you do in order to answer this question.

1. Make sure you include testimonials from your satisfied customers.
2. Ensure that your shipping policies, return policies, frequently asked questions are listed prominently on your site.
3. Give them a reason to buy now - today.
4. Explain to them about security and how your order is secure.
5. If they don't buy then encourage them to sign up for your newsletter / literature.
6. Make sure to compare your prices to other sites - if your prices are more expensive make sure to list plenty of benefits / reasons why.


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The big thing to make sure you do this holiday season is to offer folks the option of buying a gift card or gift certificate. Billions were spent last year on gift cards. When you use this you also get two customers instead of one (the person who buys the card - and the person who redeems the card). You can find a ton of vendors (check the paid links) by searching Google - click here.

Make sure to price shop to compare rates etc. If you can't take advantage of it for this holiday season, make sure to put on it next years "to do" list.


Monday, October 04, 2004

We didn't get any questions last week, so we'll continue on as before. This week as you prepare for the holiday rush (which some folks are having right now). We're going to give you a few hints on how to maximize things.

1. Gift cards and Certificates.
2. Why Buy.
3. Spread the word.

Have a great day!!

Monday, September 27, 2004

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful weekend - this week you get to send in questions that you have and we'll attempt to answer them.... they can be about anything business related - we'll post them as we get them this week. If we don't get any questions then we won't post anything till Friday.


Friday, September 24, 2004

Hope your week has gone well - sorry for the lack of posts - definitely been busy here this week. This weekend we hopefully will be able to catch up a bit and bring you more posts next week ... I'm not complaining though, being busy is good.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

A little self-serving advertising - if you haven't subscribed to our monthly ezine then now is the time. Full of news that you can use. Use the link below to subscribe.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. We had a festival in our town and Haley got Friday off, so we had lots of fun. It didn't rain as much as it could have, so we were soggy but not swamped, so that was definitely an answered prayer.

Till tomorrow,
have a wonderful day.

Friday, September 17, 2004

A pretty good blog from the folks that brought you search engine watch can be found here -

Looks like we may not get as much rain as they expect - so we won't need a boat... maybe just a small raft :o).

Till Monday,
Take care.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

I was speaking to some folks yesterday and the topic went to business plans. Business plans aren't really that hard if you follow some templates that are available online. My belief is that without a plan - how can you know how your business is doing?

Details on creating a business can be found below.

Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Part 3 -

We're supposed to get between 5 - 10 inches of rain here tomorrow. We usually flood when we get 3 or 4 inches. Hopefully we won't get that much but if you don't hear from me for a day or two that's what the deal is. I live on a cliff :o) - so the water shouldn't get here but you can never tell about power / phone lines etc.

Stay safe,

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Did you know that you can learn a lot about your competitors from Google alerts -
.. when they get new links
.. post news
.. change their site
.. etc.

You can learn more about the program here -

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

An excellent article on how spyders work - including a link to the first article.

I'm sure you will enjoy it and learn something (just make sure to explore all the links).


Monday, September 13, 2004

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful weekend. This week we hope to start working on implementing a couple of those tracking solutions... that is if everything goes well. This week we also plan on doing "best of" for the week - then next week we'll give you some updates on the tracking.

Till tomorrow,

Friday, September 10, 2004

A soggy week - but looks like a wonderful weekend ahead!!

We've been getting a good ezine DEMC for several years - check out last weeks issue, especially universal laws and truth.

An excellent article on the basics of search engines.

Also make sure to check out our latest newsletter.

Have a good weekend.


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Something newsworthy from Overture - seems like they're going to a default broad match in the near future. What that means is that it will be harder to pinpoint those keywords. Details can be found at the following link.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

How was your weekend. ... hopefully you didn't work (the whole weekend) and got to do something fun. Haley and I Beta tested an online game and we had a blast.

Today we're swamped (with work - but I'm definitely not complaining), and we might be swamped with the remnants of the hurricane if the weather folks are right. So updates to the blog my be a little sporadic. What we may do is refer you to some things we've already done.

That is as long as we have power and we're not having storm. We'll try to implement the two trackers next week.

Stay safe!

Friday, September 03, 2004

With the holiday weekend coming up, I was curious about the history of Labor Day - if you're curious you can find out more information here -

We hope everyone enjoys a safe, fun weekend.

We should be back on Tuesday.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Tried to post a beautiful comparison here - but it didn't work.

Check out a table with all the stats packages.

Next week we'll tell you which one's we've chosen for further testing.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Talk about fast... the cd for the Windows update arrived today - so instead of 6-8 weeks it actually took 2 or 3 days. I still haven't gotten the courage to upgrade. But maybe in a few weekends I'll have the time to do it right-- you know back up things before hand etc.

This week we're going to be trying to compile the stats packages into a nice table then choose a couple of them to review further. That update should happen within the next day or two.

Have a good one.


Friday, August 27, 2004

A few misc. things on this Friday.

Last night we went to a birthday party at our local pool. I've been working with Haley practically the whole summer, teaching her how to swim. Well last night - she just did it - she swam about five or so feet, then more. To me that is a good example of internet marketing. You have to "do" a lot of different things. Many times it may seem that what you're doing isn't worth it, your friends think you're crazy etc. Then everything comes together and you start "doing" it. So DON'T GIVE UP.

Microsoft has releases the big SP 2 update. If you don't want to download it or if you're like me and your internet connection is slow. You can order a CD free from microsoft by going here.
Click Here. I ordered mine today so I'll let you know when I get it. Be warned though, some folks are having trouble with different things with the patch. You can get an idea of those things by checking out the following link.

A great article on how spyders and web crawlers work:

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

We take a break today to bring you a nice tool you can use for your optimization.

URL Info -

You can use this tool to find out almost anything about a url. It's a great tool to check backlinks.
My suggestion would be to start with your URL - then work on the competition.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

There a quite a few solutions for ROI that would break the bank. Some of those are listed below.
Our focus is to find some that are useful for small business. So you can do your own research on these.

Webabacus -
Site Intelligence -
Webtraffiq -
SteelTorch -
Nedstat -
WhiteCross Systems -
Intellitracker -
NetGenesis (CustomerCentric Solutions) -
Clickstream -
Accrue -
RedEye -
Speedtrap -
Touch Clarity -
Visual Insights -

Till tomorrow have a good one.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Today we look at two more stats packages -

Sawmill -

ROI - Possible to track downloads
Normal search stats - Yes
Reports - Yes
Your server or theirs - Your server
Multiple sites - yes with additional cost
Cost - - $139.00 for a single profile.
More pricing details -

Funnel Web - We look at the Funnel Web Profiler

Their website is difficult to find answers you're looking for.

ROI - Possible
Normal search stats - Yes
Reports - Yes
Your server or theirs - Yours
Multiple sites - No
Cost - - Free - additional cost for modules.

Till tomorrow have a good one.


Monday, August 23, 2004

Weekends sure do fly by - Monday is here though whether we like it or not. But the great thing about Monday is your week is like a blank sheet of paper. You can do what you want to with it.

I found a really great newsletter on the web this weekend. The goal stuff is a great gem. You can find it at the link below.

This week we continue reviewing the stats programs.... why would we spend so much time on this. If you don't know how many / where your visitors are coming from, how can you know that you're improving (or not).


Friday, August 20, 2004

Hey it's Friday. Hope you have had a wonderful week.

Next week we should complete the reviews of the stats / ROI programs. Then we'll work on our recommendations.

Here's your assignment for the weekend.
Make a list of your five "best" customers.
Write a letter (NOT an email) to the first one on the list.
Just make it a thank-you letter. DO NOT try and sell them anything.

It can be short / sweet - two or three paragraphs or so. Just thank them for being your customer. Tell them you appreciate them (and why). Make sure to mail it on Monday.


Thursday, August 19, 2004

Two more stats programs today:

Deep Metrix:

They have several different programs - we'll focus on the commerce one since we're interested in tracking sales as well.

Normal search stats - YES
Reports - YES
Your server or theirs - Theirs
Multiple sites - NO
Cost - ~ $200.00 / month


Urchin has different modules that you "plug in".
Here's a nice master list of features.

Again we'll go for the campaign module.

Normal search stats - YES
Reports - YES
Your server or theirs - Either
Multiple sites - Yes (increases cost)
Cost - around 5 k -

Tomorrow we'll have the weeks wrap up.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Today we're going to look at a couple more trackers.

Free Stats -

Normal search stats - YES
Reports - Yes
Your server or theirs - Theirs
Multiple sites - No
Cost - from Free (with a banner on your site) to $8.99 / month.
Details on each plan can be found here -

CH Web Analyzer

Details below are for the professional edition.

ROI - No - but this is just from a quick glance - it may be possible.
Normal search stats - YES
Reports - YES
Your server or theirs - Your Server
Multiple sites - yes see price details below.
Cost - This solution you buy

Pricing details are here:

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

So far we've reviewed the following tracking systems.

Web Trends -
Hits Link -
Smart Tracking
Open Tracker
Index Tools -
Clicked Tracks (hosted)

You can check the previous days blogs (or check the archives as well).

Pro Analyzer
This program is focused solely on ROI

Normal search stats - NO
Reports - Yes
Your server or theirs - Installs on your Server
Multiple sites - No
Cost - $97.00 (one time)

Click Alyzer

Normal search stats - YES
Reports - YES
Your server or theirs - Theirs
Multiple sites - NO
Cost - Varies to traffic - starts @ $19.95

More tomorrow.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Hopefully Charlie didn't cause too much damage in your neck of the woods.

We had a good weekend here. This week we're going to continue checking out some additional stats programs. Till tomorrow we hope you stay warm, safe and dry.


Friday, August 13, 2004

This week has flown by - the olympics are coming up this week. Below are some links you might find fun (and useful).

TV Listings -
NBC's Olympic stuff -
The "official" site -


Till Monday.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

It's early :o) - got a couple of additional stats packages to review -

The first is Web Trends. I figured this would be a very expensive one (and they do offer an expensive version), we're going to talk about the $35.00 a month version.

ROI - Yes (if you buy the software version - $495.00
Normal search stats - yes
Reports - Yes
Your server or theirs - Their server.
Multiple sites - no

Hits Link -

ROI - Yes (if you buy the software version - $495.00
Normal search stats - yes
Reports - Yes
Your server or theirs - Their server.
Multiple sites - no
Cost - Varies - starts at $14.95 / month - probably figure around $50.00 / month.

For some reason I like Hits link.

Tomorrow is Friday!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Today we review a couple of more stats packages - one note when we get finished we'll offer some analysis / observations / recommendations.

Smart Tracking

Features can be found here:

Normal search stats - yes
Reports - Yes
Your server or theirs - Their server.
Multiple sites - no
Cost - Price varies according to number of page views - up to 5,000 / month are free.
Pricing details are here -

Normal search stats - yes
Reports - Yes
Your server or theirs - Their server.
Multiple sites - no
Cost - Price varies according to number of page views - up to 5,000 / month are free.

Open Tracker

ROI - YES - using click streams
Normal search stats - yes
Reports - Yes
Your server or theirs - Their server.
Multiple sites - no
Cost - $16.99 / month Details on pricing can be found here -

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

We'll work on checking two or three stats packages a day - Looks like a good package -

They have premium and enterprise versions -
A good comparison of them can be found here -

ROI - yes - enterprise version
Normal search stats - yes
Reports - 100's
Your server or theirs - Their server.
Multiple sites - yes
Cost - Free trial -
Premium version $19.95 / month (50 k pageviews / month)
Enterprise - $49.95 (50 k pageviews / month)
Extra bandwidth costs can be found here -

Clicked Tracks (hosted)

They have different products as well - a comparison can be found here -

ROI - yes - enterprise version
Normal search stats - yes
Reports - 100's
Your server or theirs - Their server.Multiple sites - yes
Cost - Free trial -
Analyzer hosted $49.00 / month but is extremely limited - extra bandwidth charges also apply.
Analyzer hosted Pro - $239 /month (starts there)

More tomorrow.

Monday, August 09, 2004

This week we're going to be talking about stats. Without a good stats package / program you're like a fish out of water. With a good package you'll be able to know -
a) where your traffic is coming from.
b) how well your advertising is doing.
c) which pay per click terms are converting (and which aren't),
and much more.

For the next few days we'll be taking a look at a variety of stats packages and comparing them.

Enjoy your Monday.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

So what is the best bait - the only way you'll know that is by testing. How do you test - the first thing you'll need is a good stats package. We'll be talking about stats next week - then about testing the week after. For now think a bit about the different kinds of bait that you can use -

- a free newsletter - again like the post you make on forums you want this at least 80% good information and 20% selling your stuff.
- a sales offer - buy 2 get shipping free.
- your pricing - low / high / middle ground which works best.

You get the general idea. Now come up with some on your own.

The folks at Sherpa conducted a survey - you might be interested in the results.

Till tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

So you've found the fish, you've learned where they like to hang out. Now you want to think about what kind of bait you want to use. Since you're hanging out with your customers you'll start to realize some of the things they need / want. Things that keep coming up over and over again. Add these offers to your site and use them as bait.


Say you have a gift basket site. Your focus is on teddy bears. You learn during your wonderings that a lot of people are asking about baskets for people that already own bears. You work on creating a basket that includes accessories (clothes etc) for current bear owners - you also create a jumbo basket that has the bear and some accessories.


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

A Tip today before we learn more about fishing. While you've been finding places where your fish hang out, did you find any forums. My wife when she first started her site got tons of visitors by answering questions on the forum. Just remember:

- follow the forums posting policies.
- make sure advertising for your own site (at the start) makes up no more than 10% of your reply. As you become "known" on the forum you can increase this gradually, but try to keep it below 30%.
- the best thing is to answer questions. Pretty soon you'll become the resident expert.

Till tomorrow.

Monday, August 02, 2004

One of the best search engine news sources is from search engine watch. You can catch the latest updates by going here - Make sure to check out all the links.

This week (Tuesday - Thursday) we'll continue the series on fishing, which hopefully you'll enjoy.

Till tomorrow,

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I guess one of the biggest things that happened this week was the outage slowdown on Monday.

One more reason NOT to put all the eggs in one basket.

Till Monday hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Using the information you gathered from yesterday - now do searches for those things.

Try to get at least 10 good urls for each item. Make sure to save these since you'll be using them next week. Don't worry about the page rank of the site etc. Just get the links.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

We have your ideal canidate (or fish) - now we need to learn some things about them.

1) What hobbies do they have.
2) What books and magazines do they like to read.
3) What websites do they visit.
4) Where do they like to travel.
5) The more you can learn about them the better.

Try to make a list of 10 or 20 different things they like / like to do.
If you have trouble with this step then open your mouth and ask the fish. :o)

Monday, July 26, 2004

Last week we talked about the "ideal" fish - this week we're going to talk some about locating those fish. Friday we'll be off to feed the fish :o) - so this weeks blog will run thru Thursday. Tuesday and Weds. we'll talk about fish finding, then Thursday we'll wrap up the week.

Some news of note -

Google (GOOG) hopes to raise 2 Billion (yes that's a B) with their IPO.

What do you think they'll do with all that cash...

Friday, July 23, 2004

Almost the weekend - make sure that you do something enjoyable.

You've figured out what your ideal customer is - now do some research on what other folks have found. Search google for "customer demographics [ your field ]. Example - "customer demographics fishing". You should be able to find some interesting reading on what other folks have found. Make sure to save into your favorites any that are useful.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Got the ideal customer - should include -
Gender, income, ... etc. Something like -

Female, housewife, family income of 50-60 k, stay at home mom, enjoys daytime tv.

Now we'll expand just a bit. Increase the income up and down slightly. Broaden the occupation a bit, and hobbies as well.

Example -
Female - family income 40-70k, doesn't work, enjoys television. Next week we'll talk a little about things to do next.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

So why do we need to get a clear picture of the "ideal fish" (or customer).  The main reason we need to know this is because everything else depends on getting a clear understanding of that fish. If you're having trouble finding the clear picture of your fish then do some research.

a) Ask friends and neighbors who are prospects of your product.
b) If you already have a site then conduct a survey / research with your current customers.
c) Ask some of your competitors - don't be surprised if some folks won't share things with you but you will be surprised a few will.

If you can't get really narrow, then get as narrow as possible (till tomorrow anyway, then we'll turn things upside down a bit).


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Even before we go fishing we need to know exactly what type of fish we're looking for. What you say we just want to catch any fish.... wrong. Just like our website traffic, we want ideal visitors. So what exactly is our ideal visitor?
1) Must need what we're selling (or our services).
2) Must want what we're selling now (needs and wants are different but we'll take about that later).
3) Must have the means to buy it.
So today think about your "ideal visitor". What do they look like? Where do they live? What is their job? Where do they hang out? What do they read? How old are they? How much money do they make? etc. The first ideal visitor we want to be as narrowed down as possible.
Tomorrow we'll talk more about our visitor.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend. Haley had her first fishing trip and although she didn't really 'catch' any she did get to reel some in. Speaking of fishing, think of some ways that we can apply that to internet marketing. What would you do if none of the fish are biting. We'll talk more about it tomorrow.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Happy Friday.
Hopefully everyone has some great plans for the weekend.
Couple of notes that may be of interest.
Atlas has created a paper on how your rank on the first page affects the amount of traffic that you get. You can get the pdf file by clicking on the link below.
A nice place to ping your blog can be found below -
A nice CSS tutorial can be found here -
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Did you get a chance to think about some complementary things for your site. Besides the story on Build a Bear - we saw another excellent example of this at the beach.

During one of our adventures we went to an amusement park called the Pavillion. A couple of good ideas from these folks included:

1) They had a variety of rides for young and old.
We've been preached to for a long time to focus on a niche. But is your niche too narrow. It could be. You may get more traffic if you expand (a little at a time) horizontally and vertically. Let me explain - say you have a fly fishing site and just sell the flys. You could expand horizontally by perhaps selling - fly fishing poles, a fly fishing guide, fly fishing trips. You could expand vertically by selling other types of fishing products.

2) Almost all of the folks that worked in this small park had a smile on their face.
Do you smile when you talk to your customers on the phone (it is really hard to be a grouch with a big grin on your face). Do you make it easy for people to contact you if you have questions. Do you answer emails (no matter how dumb) with a great attitude and smile on your face.

3) There was only one way out of the park - through the gift shop.
Do you remind people gently when they leave of your latest offer - do you include possible complementary gifts when they are shopping. If not you're missing out on additional sales.

Hope that gives you some more ideas.

Till tomorrow,
Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Todays assignment is to think about ten things that would go well (or complement) your site. Example - if you have a dog site (say you offer dog toys) - you could:

a) Create an ebook on dog training.
b) Create an online obedience dog course.
c) Tape your course and then sell it...

That should be enough to get those creative juices flowing. Tomorrow we'll talk about some things we learned on our vacation.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Did you get a chance to list some of your fears.

When we got to the beach my daughter Haley was very afraid of the ocean and would only venture out to about her ankles. Each day we would go down to the beach and she would practice her "surfing". By Thursday she was standing in waist deep water (to her)... she looked up at me and said "Dad, the waves just aren't big enough today."

So what can that teach you about facing your fears?

Remember the first time you got behind the steering wheel of a car. Do you pay it any attention now... it's just like walking.

1. Start slowly. Break down your fear into small slices.
2. Make sure that you repeat that action daily.
3. In a week it'll be just like driving a car (or surfing).

Haley Riding Waves at Myrtle Beach

Monday, July 12, 2004

The weekend went too fast. We had two bar-b-q's. I must say that I really enjoy a good grilled steak. We also rented the movie Paycheck and I must say that I give it a 9.5 out of 10. It has one of the best chase scenes I've seen.

This week we'll be resuming our series on Marketing at the Beach. For homework for tomorrow I want you to list five things you're "afraid" to do in your business. Whether it is cold call, give a speech etc., list them and we'll be talking some about fear tomorrow.

Till then have a good one.

Friday, July 09, 2004

This week is all messed up - Tuesday I thought it was Monday. Yesterday I thought it was Friday... go figure.

Have you ever downloaded something free and found at that it is filled with spyware. The links below may help you to find some good freebies without the added baggage. As always though make sure to run those spyware checkers after you install anything.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday.

MSN is in the process of bringing out their new search engine results - currently they use Yahoo. You can test what your results are at the following link -

You can read some more details at the article below -

Build A Bear -

During our vacation we visited a shopping center / outdoor mall called Broadway on the Beach. My daughter Haley has more stuffed animals than I can count but she decided that she wanted a Build A Bear (although she ultimately chose to build a stuffed dog).

Advertising -

How did Haley know about it - she saw several kids walking around the mall with boxes, which were the new bears homes, and what the new animal was placed in.

The Process -

The buying process was more of an experience than a process. We stood in line outside the door (again another good advertisement, after all if folks were willing to stand in line then it must be worth it).

We then stepped inside the store with about 10 other folks at a time and got to choose which animal that we wanted. Samples of the finished product were on display and prices varied from about $20.00 to $40.00 or so. Haley choose a dog, then we had the choice of adding sounds. Samples of the sound could be played (try before you buy). Haley of course chose a bark.

Next stop was the stuffing station where Haley got to stuff the bear. She put a tag into the dog so if it was lost it would be returned to her at no cost (added value). After stuffing the dog we gave it a bath (with compressed air and a brush (which by the way they sold the brushes - which Haley of course had to have one).

About half the store was dedicated to accessories for the stuffed animals - clothes, dog toys, brushes etc. The whole time I observed no one just had something stuffed but at least a handful of accessories as well.

Customer Care -

Everyone in the store was friendly and went out of their way to make your feel special.

Back end sales -

As I mentioned everyone had at least as many accessories as they could hold.

Follow up -

In order to get a birth certificate Haley entered her information on one of several computers that were setup - Name, address, age, email address etc. I'm not sure of what their follow up schedule will be but I'm sure they will be doing something.

Hopefully that you gives you some ideas on how to improve your own business.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. We had a great time, Friday we went to my cousins for steak and fireworks, then Sunday we traveled a couple of hours to a family get together (swimming, good food and fellowship). Although we worked yesterday today still seems like a Monday for some reason.

This week we'll be continuing the talk on Myrtle beach and some things we learned there.

Tomorrow we'll be talking about Build A Bear and also some thoughts on MSN and there new look. Till then hopefully you are rested.


Friday, July 02, 2004

So have you thought about some ways to put your visitor at ease - how about the following.

1) Include your best testimonial on your landing page - make sure to include additional 2 or so testimonials on each additional page. Then make sure to have a page dedicated to all of the testimonials.

2) If you belong to the better business bureau make sure to include that on the front page / check out page as well.

3) Make it easy for folks to contact you by having contact information on every page.

4) Offer a way for folks to get to know you better either by a newsletter, blog, free product, information etc.

5) Make sure any guarantees you offer are listed on the index, product, check out pages.

6) If someone contacts you with a question etc., make sure to email them promptly.

Hope everyone enjoys their holiday weekend. We'll be back on the blog on Tuesday.


Thursday, July 01, 2004

Myrtle Beach

This is a picture from our balcony on our vacation.

We drove for about 11 hours to get to the beach. We drove mostly at night, that way everyone slept most of the way except for me (which is a good thing because I was driving).

When we got to the condo our "bellboy" was an elderly gentleman who had retired and found that he was bored sitting around the house. He was great. Gave us numerous hints and tips on things to do on the beach as he loaded up the pile of luggage we had. Instantly we felt at home which made a great first impression. This got me to thinking.

On your website how are you making a good "first impression". Do people feel good when they visit or are they instantly lost. Spend today thinking about how you can make a good impression on your site and tomorrow we'll give you a list of ours.


Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Learning from our vacation. We learned many things while on our recent trip. We'll start tomorrow with some discussion on our Bellboy, then finish up the week with some notes on our trip to Build a Bear. Next week we'll continue the series. Also hopefully we'll have some nice photos to post as well.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Ok we made it back from vacation - now we need another one :o). Swamped with work and lots more but I will tell you that I did learn some things while on vacation. More details on that when the dust settles down, hopefully by tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

We made it to our vacation destination. It took us about 12 hours of driving, but we drove at night (which to me is much easier for the kids, wife and me :o)). Everyone slept well (except for me of course :o). Our condo is really nice, right on the beach. We've had a great time the last several days with playing in the ocean, pools, sand etc. My daughter is definitely impressed with it. One big goof on my part is that my digital camera uses floppy disks and my laptop doesn't have a floppy disk port soooo... this will be my last post till I get back. Then should have some pictures up.

Enjoy your week and we'll see you Monday.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Couple of good stories today. One thing I believe that we'll be starting our vacation a little early - we won't be posting tomorrow (Friday), but we will be posting (hopefully) Saturday from the beach.. and then post a diary of things we're doing and hopefully some nice pictures as well.

The new service pack from Microsoft changes a lot of things - maybe even how a computer views your site. Make sure you take a little time and check out how it will effect you (before the patch is released).

Click here for details.

A nice tutorial on understanding your web stats. Details can be found here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Continuing where we left off yesterday - we're reviewing the lastest search conference and a review / article that you can find here.

Link Building -

1. Create good content so folks will link to you without having to ask. An example would be if you sell things you use for fly fishing - create a page (s) on how to do things related to that - how to tie, find good places to fish, equipment review, etc.

2. Stay away from bad links - guestbooks, farms, forums.

3. From Googles mouth - thematic incoming links from authority sites carry more weight than on-page optimization. hmm that is a mouth full. Off page optimization is now more important than on-page.

4. Don't hoard all the page rank - link out to other sites that are relavent to yours.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

First an excellent article on how people search and where you may be wanting to spend more of your time, money and efforts.

Now to start dissecting this article a bit.

The first thing concerns promoting country specific site. Make sure -

a) You have a domain with the proper extension (ie .uk).
b) Make sure that your site speaks the language.
c) Host your site in the country / region your promoting - in this case the uk.

On search engine friendly design - the checklist follows -

• Easy to read
• Easy to navigate
• Easy to find
• Consistent in layout and design
• Quick to download

I would also add the following.
- make sure you have a site map with links from each page and to all the pages.
- add new content consistently.

Writing for Search Engines -

Focus on Keyword Phrases.
Limit it to 2 or 3 a page.
250 - 300 words of text.
Target density 1.5-2%

I've said it before one of the "best" ways to find your "target" density is to check the top ten competitors and get an average number. Then work on achieving that number.

More tomorrow.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Hopefully everyone had a great weekend. On occassion I have a brain storm, we plan on doing a project during a trip next week to Myrtle beach - we'll give me more details later. One note we will be posting next week - but just to tell you about the fun things we'll be doing. So this week will be a little short. Tues, Weds, and Thursday we'll be dissecting that post with some things from the last search engine conference.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2004

It's been a weird week for me. Hopefully next week we'll have a bit more activity. Then the week after that hopefully will be full of vacation pictures :o).

Your homework for the weekend will be to read this great post on the Search Engine Conference. Next week we'll work on dissecting it.

Here's the URL - hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Step 1 in promoting a blog ( my personal opinion of course ) is to submit it to blog directories. There is an excellent list of possible directories on google. Click here for details.

So we'll work on submitting to the directories.

Till tomorrow,
have a great day!

Monday, June 07, 2004

Hope everyone had a great weekend - this week we'll be wondering through the process of blog promotion. A tough task at times.

My favorite president also passed away this past weekend. A man that talked his walk - something that is difficult to find these days.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

We had a wild and wooly weekend here. It was the first time I can remember that I say 8 counties with tornado warnings at the same time. We also had a bunch of flash flooding and rain, which we didn't really need any more of. Hopefully by next week we'll have everything cleaned up and be able to do some real blogging again. Till then hopefully everyone remains safe, and dry!!


Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Old posts.

First to cristen the new blog we'll add some recent comments from other blogs. Sometimes it's hard to find a home :o)

AUTHOR: Tim Hamblin
TITLE: Old Archives
STATUS: Publish
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

DATE: 05/05/2004 07:01:49 AM
Included below are posts from a previous blog - enjoy!! To save time we just cut and pasted - if you want some links that aren't listed send me a note.

And so it begins... again.
April 1, 2004
Our latest foray into the world of blogs starts again today. We're not exactly sure what direction this will take us, so if you have any comments that you want to make to help guide us along the way that will be much appreciated. Till next time you can check out the archives of our first blogging adventures by checking them out here.

This weeks promotion plan
April 5, 2004
Hopefully you had a wonderful weekend. It has been nice but chilly here. In fact they gave some frost and freeze warnings for today and tomorrow. I guess it's a good thing that we don't have anything planted yet.
The promotion world recently has been turned upside down with many of the new changes. This week we'll focus on Yahoo's changes and our take on what you should and shouldn't do with these new changes. The one thing I can say is that things will change, so you can either adapt or be left in the dust.
If you haven't been taking some money out of your profits for advertising then now is the time to start thinking about doing it. Tomorrow we'll give you an overview of the Yahoo changes. Till then take care.

Yahoo Changes
April 6, 2004
Today we'll give you some links to Yahoo's recent changes. Tomorrow we'll discuss these changes and give you some ideas on what to do with them.
Yahoo takes on Page Rank from Google.
You can check your Yahoo rank here -
The new tool bar is in beta and currently they aren't accepting any new beta canidates.
Yahoo changes how they rank sites and now uses their own algo's.
Yahoo now offers paid submit / inclusion. We'll talk quite a bit about this later on.

Some details - Click Here
Till tomorrow - stay safe.

Yahoo - How to Promote
by blitzblog at 05:37AM (PDT) on April 7, 2004 | Permanent Link
So how do you promote the New Yahoo. We've listed several possible positions you may be in now and what to do.

Your site - is listed well on the Yahoo search.
Congrats. I would do nothing. Do continue to monitor things more closely, but if your site looks good on Yahoo now - don't rock the boat.

Your site - was listed well in the old Yahoo (Google), but is now not listed well within the rankings (ie not on the first couple of pages).
First review your log files and compare the differences in traffic. From our research on our promotion clients, we've found that Yahoo and Google while different now aren't much different. Sites that were on the first page of the SERPs on the old Yahoo, usually are listed well in the new. So if you aren't, first check your Google listing and make sure that it hasn't slipped. If the Google listing hasn't slipped then my suggestion would be to wait a bit.

Your site - wasn't listed in the old or new Yahoo.
We need to first get the spyders to find your new site. My suggestion would be to work on getting some links - instead of using the free search submit tool.

So should you pay for the new inclusion -
Unless you have tried everything and still can't get your site listed, then do it. Just remember that you will be paying for every click.
Till tomorrow take care.

Should have knocked on wood more...
by blitzblog at 01:30PM (PDT) on April 9, 2004 | Permanent Link

The title says it all - several computer snafoos have us busier than usual doing things we don't like ( can you say reinstalling xp ). Anyway hope by Monday to have things back in gear.
Till then hope everyone enjoys the holiday weekend. I'm going to try to at least enjoy some of it :o)

The tax man cometh...
by blitzblog at 05:20AM (PDT) on April 12, 2004 | Permanent Link
Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend. We had a wonderful time. Spent more time working that I would have liked but the snafu from last week threw a wrench into things. Tomorrow we'll work on resuming where we left off last week talking about Yahoo changes and what you need to do about them.
Did you get your taxes done? How did you do? I owe, but that is a good thing, because that means we were blessed with business last year. We actually increased our sales by about 10 %, but we decreased the cost of business by about 25%.
Enjoy your Monday!

Yahoo Resources
April 13, 2004

So where you can you find more information on how to tweak your site. My suggestion would be to learn from one of the many forums on the net. Some of the most useful ones are found below. When finding tips, make sure that you browse around first to ensure that it is viable information.
I Help You's Yahoo Forum
Web Master World
High Rankings - you'll have to dig a bit here. The quickest way is to search for Yahoo within the forum.
Tomorrow and Thursday we'll work on gleaning some of the most useful tidbits from those forums.
It's Soggy here so till tomorrow stay dry.

Yahoo Forum Help - Part 1
on April 14, 2004

Finally it has stopped raining... and started snowing!! Is this April?? By the weekend it is supposed to be 80.
Today we've included some of the discussion on Yahoo's new algo. Enjoy.

1. A great thread from Webmaster World - remember to remove the wheat from the chaff.
2. A nice thread on whether Yahoo likes sites listed in DMOZ.
3. How to tweak a Yahoo Store.
More tomorrow.

Yahoo Forum Help - Part 2
April 15, 2004
Some more help from the forums to optimize Google.

14 pages of questions and answers on Yahoo.

Answers to questions - from a Yahoo Rep - including some answers on Site Match.

How close are Google's and Yahoo's Algo?

Tomorrow we'll have some news and notes from this week.

News Wrap
April 16, 2004

TGIF - hopefully you have some fun things planned for the weekend. Todays note may include somethings that you missed.
RSS is pretty hot these days. Here is a place where you can learn more.
A9 - a new search engine from Amazon.
Good info, extra links, discuss, can be found here.
I am a news junky - I got this in the email this week. Nice news site with tons of options.
If you like basketball the NBA tournament starts Saturday. 4 Games are scheduled for Saturday on ESPN.
Next week we'll talk some about Google. Till Monday have a wonderful weekend.

This week
April 19, 2004

Hopefully everyone had a wonderfule weekend. This week we're going to be talking about what's going on with Google.
Tues - Google changes part 1.
Weds - Google changes part 2.
Thurs - Google Rumors.
Friday - Week in review.
The week of April 26th we'll be talking about the algo changes.

April 21, 2004

Ended up being totally swamped yesterday (but no complaints, swamped is good). Some of that has meandered into today as well, so hopefully by tomorrow things have settled down a little.
Tomorrow we'll talk about some of the Google changes. Friday we'll do the weeks wrap up then next week we'll work on getting down to the nitty gritty on all things Google.

Organizing Tips
April 22, 2004

One of the great things about a blog is the ability to change my mind... so today we're going to talk a little about organization.

I belong to a wonderful group of small biz folks that's been around almost as long as I've been in business ( 5 years ). This past week we talked a little about organization and with Celia's permission I've included her blurb on organizing below.

Well JodyRay, this may be a case of the blind leading the blind....but I'll try. I'm not known for my filing skills, but since I've been re-doing mine recently and a wonderfully slow day is giving me some time to think, a tiny shred of wisdom may evolve! I don't have the same kinds of categories as you, but some ideas might be transferrable.

First lesson I learned, after only about 25 years of filing: Whatever it takes, avoid working with overcrowded file drawers. It discourages regular
filing, and encourages procrastination which leads to stacks which take forever to wade thru. I love the colored hanging files, used sparingly to divide sections in the drawer...or to hold frequently-used files that you need to find and grab quickly. I also like the colored 'manilla' files that go *inside* the hanging files.

My most recent "orders file" revision works great. It's my favorite file! I moved it to my most accessible file drawer, which is the top drawer of a metal 3-drawer lateral file cabinet. I simply allocate 1 hanging file for each day, and rotate them as the files empty out. Each order and related paperwork is clipped together, and all orders placed that day go into that day's file after processing, until all aspects of the order are completed. (Then they go into a not-as-manageable location, filed
according to State!). I don't actually label these daily order folders, since they become 'rotating' folders as the days pass, orders get completed, and the files get emptied....and new orders require a new folder. But for temp labels for other stuff, I sometimes just use a post-it note. For my business, I usually have about 10-15 days worth of active orders at any given time. I have separate colored hanging files for custom-print orders and for backorders. This system also helps identify potential problems, because if an order remains in the file longer than normal, it's easily spotted so I can check into it.

I used to keep all my tax stuff in separate folders (Fed, State, Unemployment, Sales Tax etc.) ...and since I've always been told this stuff should *never* be thrown away, those folders were getting rather large. So
I set up an archive section at the hard-to-reach back of the drawer for everything thru 2002, so I rarely have to touch that part. Since I have some taxes that are done monthly, some quarterly, and some annually, I set up files accordingly. Taxes-Monthly, Taxes-Quarterly, Taxes-Annual. So, when I do any given set of taxes, I only have to pull out one file (to review and see how I did stuff last time, cause I never can remember!).

If you have, or can possibly have, different file cabinets for different kinds of things, that helps a ton. The more diversified the subjects, the farther apart they are in my office. It helps me separate my 'worlds' when wearing different hats.

In 2003 we dedicated the full year to focused brainstorming' as we worked, each of us making notes of ideas to streamline our systems and processes
involving order taking, processing, paper-pushing, filing, or anything related to the office processes. Even our vendors contributed ideas! We put most all of the ideas into practice as we went, and were amazed how some of the smallest changes made some of the biggest differences. Our new systems aren't perfect...but WOW, what a difference they've made! It's amazing how even small changes can pave the way for more efficiency. My ultimate goal is to let QuickBooks reconcile my bank statement....Not sure if I'll
successfully arrive at that point, but I'm getting close!

Celia Thomas
Wholesale Gift Packaging Supplies for U.S. Retailers, Organizations, Businesses and Artisans
Phone: 800-486-5783, 9-5 Central Time, Mon-Fri
---- Online Catalog! Bulk, Wholesale Gift Packaging Supplies
Huge Selection of Counter Roll Giftwraps...Hundreds of Selections!

Couple of things I'd like to add.
1. Daily I put in sales / expenses into Quicken.
2. On Saturday morning I pay the bills and add anything I might have forgotten during the week. This past tax season it only took me about half an hour to gather all the figures I needed to create my tax return.
3. Don't forget to backup whatever data / program you use at least weekly.

Random Thoughts
April 23, 2004

It's Friday !!!!
Some news and notes from the past week -
Netscape to make a comeback?? details >>
Some of you may have heard news this past week that the internet is vulnerable... is it? An opposing point of view. details >>
Before it starts GMail (Google's answer to hotmail / yahoo mail) has ruffled some feathers. A California lawmaker is looking to can it before it starts. details >>
My grass is getting pretty high so I guess sometime this weekend I'll have to mow it, I'll let you know if I find any buried treasure.
Have a great weekend.

Monday... Monday
April 26, 2004

Hope everyone had a great weekend.
We're going to be talking quite a bit about Google this week. Do you think Google will do their IPO this week. Many folks do. You can find some more info here. Also who gets rich?
I don't think they will go public this week... of course I've been wrong before and will definitely be wrong again.
Tomorrow we'll take about some of the Google changes.

Changes to Google AdWords
April 27, 2004

We'll spend this Tuesday talking a little about AdWords changes. AdWords is the pay per click advertising that appears on Google's Search results.

Some of the most recent changes can be found at the following link -

Note this tells the story from a prospective advertisers (those who make money from the clicks) point of view, but is important for those who want traffic as well.

Major recent changes -
Recently they changed so that ads shown were somewhat different than they were before. The big thing to remember, especially if you notice some changes in your numbers is to track your ROI more frequently. If you aren't tracking your ROI then make sure to check out one of our recent ezine articles.





AUTHOR: Tim Hamblin
TITLE: New Blog
STATUS: Publish
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

DATE: 05/05/2004 07:03:54 AM
The "New" blog is now live - we'll be working the next few days on getting things squared away and should start full force by next week. We will do a IPO wrap up with some useful links later today.




AUTHOR: Tim Hamblin
TITLE: Google IPO Madness
STATUS: Publish
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

DATE: 05/05/2004 07:12:37 AM
They did it - below are a few links on some details you may not be aware of.

Some nice info on optimizing for the new Google can be found here.

Some excellent info on Googles current financial situation.

News of the IPO filing.





AUTHOR: Tim Hamblin
TITLE: Mondays
STATUS: Publish
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

DATE: 05/10/2004 06:53:29 AM
Hopefully everyone had a great Mother's Day. We grilled steaks and I must say that they were very yummy!

I think what helped the most was that I seared the steaks first - on high for about a minute on each side. Then turned the heat down to about 3/4ths and heated them for 2-3 minutes. Then took them off the grill. I did preheat the grill for about five minutes on high. Like I said before they turned out great.

This week we're going to be continuing our discussion on Google. We're going to start with an overview tomorrow.

Till then,
take care.




AUTHOR: Tim Hamblin
TITLE: Googles New stuff
STATUS: Publish
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DATE: 05/11/2004 06:47:14 AM
Google has been doing a lot of new things recently -

1. G-mail - an excellent review and pictures of Gmail can be found here.

2. The IPO - more news can be found here. That is actually a site that collects news feeds about the Google IPO.

3. They've overhauled Blogger. More info here.

Also something of interest - the teen behind the Sasser worm is nailed.




AUTHOR: Tim Hamblin
TITLE: Google Resources
STATUS: Publish
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

DATE: 05/12/2004 06:25:27 AM
Today we'll be talking a little about some places to get some good Google information. Remember to seperate the wheat from the chaff.

These are forums so you can post questions - best thing to remember before you post is to do a search.

I Help You - Google forum

Cre8asite Forums

Webmaster World - Google forums
NOTE: To get the good stuff on this forum you need to register (which requires you to pay a fee).

Jim World Google Forums

Till tomorrow,
Have a good one.





AUTHOR: Tim Hamblin
TITLE: Google Ads Changes
STATUS: Publish
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

DATE: 05/13/2004 05:44:07 AM
We interupt the regularly scheduled blogs for some Google updates...

New Adword changes -

Local targeting

New Image Ads

What do you think this means - your comments are welcome.

Tomorrow we'll talk about news.

Have a great day.





AUTHOR: Tim Hamblin
TITLE: Friday Wrap
STATUS: Publish
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DATE: 05/14/2004 02:33:44 AM
Good morning - are you awake yet????

Starting early here today so I can spend some time today with my daughter. School is winding down for her and she is excited (and I must say, so is her dad :o)).

Now on to some of the happeneings from last week.

Figure out what's on people's minds by checking out the Lycos 50 - the top 50 searches on the net.

Google Groups changes - playing catchup - Google changes their groups... to be perfectly honest, I didn't even know they had groups?? Details Here.

Google gets a Blog. Many rumors on this one - you can find it here. It seems they already edited an earlier post. Are they already bowing to corporate stuff... only time will tell.

Have a great weekend.





AUTHOR: Tim Hamblin
TITLE: Changing gears
STATUS: Publish
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

DATE: 05/17/2004 05:14:03 AM
This week we're going to change gears a bit from our regularly scheduled program.

We're going to work on promoting our blog a bit - then we'll continue where we left off.

Today we're going to work on doing some research and then present it as we promote the blog this week. Currently we're getting about a hit a day which really stinks :o). So the goal for now is to increase it to ten. Hopefully we can do that by the end of this month... we'll see!!

Being from the Bluegrass state, I really love horses. If you missed the race on Saturday, it was really awesome. And what about Smarty Jones. Saying that he won would be an understatement. He ruled!!

Till tomorrow.




AUTHOR: Tim Hamblin
TITLE: Whew....
STATUS: Publish
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

DATE: 05/19/2004 03:56:07 AM
First apologies for no post yesterday and this one will be short.

Yesterday was my birthday - yipee - also Lisa and I went to our daughters field day (thanks for the SPF 45). I got up early - 3am - worked late afterwords - 10pm but still didn't manage to find time to cram in a post. Today is her last day of school so this post will be short as well. The good news is now I have my secretary for the Summe :o).

Now some notes -

CNN dumps Google and gets Yahooed - more

Some excellent notes / discussion on Yahoo's paid inclusion. Find it here.

Back to our regularly scheduled program (maybe) tomorrow.




AUTHOR: Tim Hamblin
TITLE: Blog Promotion - part 1
STATUS: Publish
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DATE: 05/20/2004 06:44:00 AM
First step in starting any new project is to research the subject. Sometimes that step can take a long time. This time it took only a few moments - we found this page with a ton of links on the subject.

That page is here -

Tomorrow we'll start exploring them.




AUTHOR: Tim Hamblin
TITLE: Blog Promo - Part 2
STATUS: Publish
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

DATE: 05/21/2004 06:36:35 AM
Currently we're getting a hit or two a day from the blog. So the only way to go is up :o)

We're going to check out the link Finding Readers - part 1 from the list.

Link to Others - that is one we'll work on later but is definitely be a goal.
Blog Comments - we'll work on that as well in the link process.

Also entered the blog in Technorati - ie claimed my blog.

You can find Technorati here.

More next week. Till then have a wonderful weekend.





AUTHOR: Tim Hamblin
TITLE: Happy Monday
STATUS: Publish
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

DATE: 05/24/2004 05:53:11 AM
Hopefully everyone had a wonderful weekend. This week we'll work on continuing to promote the blog.

Till then here's another blog you can review for some up to date news from the search engine world.
Click Here.