The web is our passion. And we can’t help but say that we are happy to have built a new web presence for a Portland Auction company. The former website was built in frames which was an old standard for websites that allowed a global navigation, header, and footer. Now you can do that using scripting languages like PHP and ASP. The benefit that the site we built for Realty Marketing Northwest is that formerly the site had very little keyword related naming conventions. We are pleased to say that the increase 1100%. We hope and expect the site only to improve over the next year. You can browse the site here.
Every year Portland State University puts on a digital marketing conference. I have been to one and look forward to attending another. Most of the presenters are Portland area professionals and business owners presenting on topics related to internet marketing. The conference should be insightful and helpful to both established marketing experts and beginners in online marketing. Perhaps a preview video might help you get the idea about this conference. Conference tickets are $275 if you register today and $299 if you register at the door. We will be there so perhaps we will see you there.
Finally designed our business cards. It has been to far down on the list of things to do. After attending the WordPress Users Group I thought I should get it done. Especially when you have people asking for your card and you don’t have one. I guess without a business card people may not think of me as serious. So serious here I come.
Some reasoning behind the features. A QR code for quick contact infomation. Maybe everyone doesn’t need my card but may want my info. Even if I am down to one I can encourage people to scan the code and still get the information.
Branding. Really the logo is used multiple times through out business card. I want it to be remembered. Describing my services in some form or fashion is useful and should help people to know what it is I do.
I don’t tell people much that I do some business branding like logos and marketing collateral (business cards and brochures). Even so here is our designs and excited to get them finished. Now off to printing.
Last night I attended the WordPress Users Group in Portland. Had a great time meeting people with a similar interest. It was amazing to see such a great turn out of experts to novices and everyone in between. I fit somewhere in the middle as web designer and had some good commonality among my peers.
Here are some thoughts about the WordPress User Group Meetup. It was informal last night which is very Portland. In fact, Portland is so casual that sometimes conferences are unconferences. Which I guess that is what Wordcamp Portland will be and am seriously considering going. We had a few announcements and then broke out to three groups. I joined the intermediate web designer group. Although I do marketing I also love the field of design. So we covered:
1) Covered simple themes to build off
2) Talked about website layout for a freemium site one attendee had
3) I had a question about developing off of 2011 Theme since I work primarily on Twenty Ten
4) Talked about website backup and caching
5) Talked a little bit about custom post types and where to find resources
Although it was informal I still had a good time and will go again. If you plan to be there and want to meetup feel free to contact me. I look forward to the future gatherings of WordPress Portland.
Do you have a blog? Ever sit there and just stare at the screen dreading what to write about? Content creation should be an essential part to developing your company online. After all you want to get new customers and visitors. Writers block is probably the most common issues to writing apart form just being poor at it. Here I want to highlight a few things you can do to help you generate ideas for you blog.
1) If you are mediocre writer then write everyday. Developing that habit of writing is the first step to creating great content. I’ve heard it said by writers that if you write every day eventually you’ll improve. Even if writers block is the problem just writing something often overcomes it.
2) If you are writer whose hit the block then using other sites to help generate content is for you. Stealing content is WRONG but doing a little research can help you develop an opinion on something. Using forums, blogs, and Q&A sites can help you break through the block give your great ideas.
3) If your writing needs some suggestions then take it from search queries from your website statistics. If you have a search box on your site you should be tracking it in analytics. If you’re not then start doing it today. Searches on your site help you get the low down about what people are looking for on your site. So start mining that data and making use of it.
4) If you are a terrible writer then one thing is to write anyway and find someone to edit it. Even though it is a little bit cumbersome you still get out new content to your website. You likely know someone who will do it for you.
5) If you aren’t a great writer and aren’t likely to write something then start a photo blog. Take pictures of what you are doing and add it to your website.
6) If you are the worst writer in the world you can also set up a Google Voice account and record messages of yourself. They have a service that transcribes the information for you. You then can find someone again to edit the information.
7) If you are the worst writer in the history of man then possibly hiring someone to write for you is worth the money.
Writing can be a bear and not many people are awesome at it. Using technology to aid your content creation can be a major help to developing your web presence.
Branding is simply an interest of ours. And recently we were creating some collateral for Emprise. In the process, we came up with few changes to the logo. Although attempts at changing a brand can be costly (GAP). Yet it can have lasting effects that help promote your brand and make memorable.
At first we launched our brand with a gray element to the logo. Yet we decided during some development that a yellow would help the image pop a little further. We also decided that this aids in an appearance of a flower design. The image expresses growth and optimism and makes it a bit more memorable.
Another aspect of our logo was the font style. Although we liked the bold stylistic version we felt that this fresh design would help with a more sophisticated look. The former logo also had the word media in green which was hard to read with the font style. With a clean thin style it is easier to read than before.
The final element was removing the blue man. Originally he was added to represent small business winning through Emprise Media’s help. Although we liked the running man we felt that the design made the logo a little cluttered. Perhaps we will continue to use the guy for other elements of our marketing but it is time to say goodbye to the little blue guy.
Branding is a useful tool. Some small and especially large brands are good at developing their brands. We also want to create a memorable brand for small business marketing. We haven’t arrived but we hope to one day.
Building a website is both technical and art inspired. On one side you have code that needs to function while on the other design to attract and convert customers. Recently I inherited a website (a new client) that has an old out of date site. Upon working on the page I found a frames built website. Not complaining, just commenting. So it got me thinking about what is helpful even within your own web business.
1) Designing understandable comments/naming conventions. This is really what drives me to write this post. I came across a class that was defined as tinyreverse. What is that? It was written for table that had a black background. I would have preferred it to describe the table that was being used. I guess sometimes that is the case of inheritances right. Sometimes it is just better to let it burn and start from scratch, especially if you inherit a hoarders home.
2) Websites with a CMS. Really the whole frames things was to help reduce the work of a website. A CMS helps you create content without effecting layout, graphics, and design features of a website. It allows for the non techie to create a page without messing up the look of their website. Why duplicate the design if all you want is to add content?
3) Scalabilty. Really I need not say more. This is good if you want to learn to do your own work on the site. That is if you your web company folds or you higher someone it can be handed off to the next person. There might motivation to move your web development in house if your company is successful.
4) Avoid drag and drop solutions. This can be good if you don’t know how to code, design, or want good visits. I’ve worked in some sites that were this way and I have to tell you that it isn’t pretty. Especially when the footer can’t be made global or certain SEO basics are missing. I guess sometimes you get what you pay for.
Google recently created a share button similar to those of both Facebook and Twitter. The share button has gained quite a bit of traction through the internet and even appears in search results. Here is what Google says about the +1 button:
Content recommended by friends and acquaintances is often more relevant than content from strangers. For example, a movie review from an expert is useful, but a movie review from a friend who shares your tastes can be even better. Because of this, +1’s from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a user’s query. This is just one of many signals Google may use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking, and we’re constantly tweaking and improving our algorithm to improve overall search quality. For +1′s, as with any new ranking signal, we’ll be starting carefully and learning how those signals affect search quality.
This true. In fact, SEO practitioners have known for a while that social media has some impact on search results. So it is compelling to include share content on your site. Unless you don’t care or maybe the share volume is low. It is then perhaps better to place at the bottom of the page if you are concerned about the end.
To add the button Place the tag where you want the +1 button to appear <g:plusone></g:plusone>
If you go to the website you can also choose between four options. Small, standard, medium, and tall. These are each achieved by tagging it as such with the size=”attribute” tag.
Are you having success with the +1 tag? Do you use it to tag search results?
Google seems to finally have a hit in the social game. The search giant created Google+ in a beta version and has had a great success with with an estimated count of 10 million users and estimates to be at 20 million by the end of the week. According to the Google+ Admin you can follow user growth with the search query shown in the image below. Although I can’t seem to get the 10 million users mentioned in the link above but it is close.
This isn’t Google’s first attempt at the social game. They made several attempts when they purchased Orkut, later created Buzz (which hasn’t done as well due to privacy issues), and entered talks with Twitter about a potential purchase that failed. Now with Google+ it seems that businesses are clamoring to for a business side of the new social network.
Google plus announced a beta version for companies looking to use Google plus for business. You can register online through the Google Docs site. You better hurry because the deadline is July 15 at 6pm. This does raise some interest on my part to see what kind of features the program will have. I have few ideas of what kind of things we will see with the business features of Google Plus.
1) Google Plus will have some similarities to Facebook’s business. This is likely a page that allows businesses to post content right within the social network.
2) I also think that businesses side will have integration within other business advertising features. The integration will likely make it easy to do Adwords advertising, Places, and promotions within Google Offers.
3) Analytics will likely be a part of mix giving information about +1 not only within the social site but also across the internet related to the business.
I do have to say this is all conjecture but Google is good about integrating products. I guess we will have to wait and see in the months to come what rolls out of Google Plus for businesses. If you get an account feel free to share with us what you find.
Remember historically the land claims people had. Take a flag and mark your territory. Be careful how you answer that. It might denote how old you are. Now claiming is for small business online. Most of it is free while others may cost you a few bucks. If you are a small business startup or an established business you can benefit from listing your business. Here is how to get started in claiming your small business.
Start by claiming your business listing on the three major search engines. It is likely that the search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo, already have your business unless you are completely new. Claiming your business starts by performing a search under maps section of the search engine. If the search engine doesn’t have your information you can simply add it by going to the local business center for the search engine. I’ve included the local business portal for Google, Yahoo, & Bing below. Next they will require your information like name of business, phone, address, and email. Your contact information is used to verify the legitimacy of your claim. So include email that you are going to use and phone number you want people to contact you with. The more mysterious you are the more penalized you will be. Like no visibility in search results or perhaps trust from potential customers.
Once you’ve claimed your business you can then update the information as you see fit. Appropriately describe your business and make sure this consistent in each site you list your business. You can add content like descriptions, categories, hours, and photos. If you are unsure what to do you can read how to claim your business listings or contact us to do it for you.