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12.30.2009

Mobile emulators on PC testing websites on cell phones

Do you think? How I can test my site on a mobile or cellular phone?  As mobile phones are becoming more and more dominant in our lives most of the time we end up using a mobilephone for everything possible. We use mobile phone to communicate by calling, sending SMS and everyone's favourite "Missed Calls" (it surely is a way to save money but will put you on the avoid list of a lot of people).
This kind of usage of mobile phone has accelerated the development in mobile technologies. Most of the businesses on the internet have mobile versions of their sites. However as smart phones get smarter, the site which runs on your PC browser can also be viewed on your phone, however to achieve the best performance customised mobile application is required.
In case you are developing a wap (Wireless Application Protocol) site following is the list of sites and softwares which will help you test your application on the computer instead of a mobilephone. These softwares act as mobile platform which helps you see the mobile version right away.
Emulator | dotMobi (mtld.mobi/emulator.php) (Free Web based emulator)
MTLD is the official registrar of .mobi sites and it also offers the emulator.
WapTiger (http://www.waptiger.com/waptiger/) (Free Web based emulator)
M3Gate 0.6 (http://www.m3gate.com/m3gate/download/m3stp06.exe) (Free Software)
AU-System Demo WAP Browser for Palm OS 1.61 (http://www.wapguide.com/wapguide/browser.html) (Free Software)
Deck-it WAP Browser (http://www.pyweb.com/deck-it) (Free Software)
Yospace SmartPhone Emulator Developer Edition (http://www.yospace.com/cgi-bin/login.pl) (Shareware)
  1. Emulator | dotMobi (mtld.mobi/emulator.php) (Free Web based emulator)
  2. MTLD is the official registrar of .mobi sites and it also offers the emulator.
  3. WapTiger (http://www.waptiger.com/waptiger/) (Free Web based emulator)
  4. M3Gate 0.6 (http://www.m3gate.com/m3gate/download/m3stp06.exe) (Free Software)
  5. AU-System Demo WAP Browser for Palm OS 1.61 (http://www.wapguide.com/wapguide/browser.html) (Free Software)
  6. Deck-it WAP Browser (http://www.pyweb.com/deck-it) (Free Software)
  7. Yospace SmartPhone Emulator Developer Edition (http://www.yospace.com/cgi-bin/login.pl) (Shareware)
    These softwares can be categorised under follwoing categories: Wap Browsers, Wap Emulators,Mobile Browser, Windows Mobile Emulator, Wap Simulator. Do leave comments if your favouritemobile emulator is missing from the list

12.23.2009

reducing costs and ensuring produc

Driving Growth & Cutting Costs in 2010 with Online Collaboration
Jan 12, 2010
1:00 p.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Pacific
Duration: 60 Minutes

Welcome to 2010 where working with clients and colleagues scattered across the globe is the norm. Here is your challenge: How do you foster collaboration while reducing costs and ensuring productivity?

Join this timely Webinar to hear IDC's Robert Mahowald share market research on the growth of Web conferencing and how companies are capitalizing on Web meetings to cut travel, gain market share and grab momentum.

You'll also hear Laura Sturaitis of Business Wire detail how her firm uses Citrix® GoToMeeting® Corporate to instantly and cost-effectively bring people together - from sales demos and marketing presentations to customer education and project management.

Attendees will learn:
  • What's propelling the current corporate drive for Web conferencing
  • What is the optimal meeting mix: face-to-face versus Web conference
  • How companies like Business Wire leverage Web conferencing to raise profitability and enhance collaboration
Register now for this event, and bring your questions for our panel of experts to address during the live Q&A following the presentation.

12.15.2009

ITs Leading Leading Business Technology Event Las Vegas Interop

What's New. What's Next. See It At Interop Las Vegas :: April 25-29, 2010

Register by 12/31 and Save 40%





See hundreds of leading technology companies. Exhibitors include:
Exhibitors



Register by 12/31 to Save 40% on the Leading Business Technology Event

Interop is the only event to give you a comprehensive understanding of all the latest technologies — including virtualization, mobility, cloud computing and data center advances — that will impact your organization today, and in the future.

Attend Interop Las Vegas to see all the latest IT solutions that will position your organization for growth in 2010.

Register by December 31st with Priority Code CNMSNL24 and Save 40% on Conference Passes*



Conference (Details Available Soon): Gain comprehensive thought leadership in 13 tracks Tuesday-Thursday, April 27-29:

Virtualization
Mobile Business
Application Delivery
Governance, Risk &
  Compliance
Video Conferencing
VoIP and Unified
  Communications
Cloud Computing
Data Center
IT Security and Risk
  Management
Enterprise 2.0
Networking
Storage
Green IT



Full Day Programs — Focus on key IT issues in full day programs before the Conference, Sunday-Monday, April 25-26:

CIO Boot Camp: Intensive two-day program that helps CIOs, CTOs and senior IT executives learn the skills and strategies needed to position their organization for growth.
Enterprise Cloud Summit: Learn about opportunities offered by cloud technologies and meet vendors driving innovation.
Workshops: Full-day courses with up to the minute, in-depth information, including:

• Principles of Effective IT Management
• Uncovering Application Vulnerabilities
• Securing Windows 7
• Virtualization Management
• Enterprise Mobility Challenges
• Network Troubleshooting
• Successfully Deploying Desktop and Application Virtualization
• Evaluating SharePoint 2007/2010
• Understanding Voice Over IP
• Advanced Protocol Analysis
• Essential Technologies to Overcome Security Threats

Event At-A-Glance



*40% off discount applies to Flex, 4-Day and Conference Passes. Discount calculated based on the on-site price and not combinable with other offers. Proof of current IT involvement required. Prices after discount applied:
Flex: $1,977
4-Day: $1,737
Conference: $1,377

12.11.2009

simplify processes and improve information quality Data for Core Applications

Business-Ready Data for Core Applications
Dec 16, 2009
2:00 p.m. Eastern / 11:00 a.m. Pacific
Duration: 60 Minutes

 
 
Join us at this Webcast where we'll discuss how you can simplify business processes, eliminate redundant applications, and minimize the instances of applications deployed across your enterprise.

For most organizations it's a challenge to simplify processes and improve information quality. Many go-live dates are met only after significant cost overruns. Business users often find their expectations for more accurate data are not met and they continue to paste together information in ad-hoc, costly, and time-consuming ways.

At this Webcast you'll find out how you can build flexibility into your information architecture, cut operational costs, and greatly improve data quality and availability to your enterprise.

You'll be able to:
  • Understand your data and meta-data
  • Establish policies, standards, processes, roles and rules around your data assets to deliver trusted information
  • Measure and visualize the compliance of your data with your business rules
  • Derive actions to improve the business process

12.10.2009

advantages PPC pay per Click Vs SEO Sear Engine Optimization

Pay-Per-Click vs. Search Engine Optimization ( Organic Search engine listing)

At SES Chicago, there was an interesting session in which a group of search marketing professionals debated the issue of which is better between PPC and SEO. Participants included Dave Naylor, Chirstine Churchill, Michael Gray, and Karen Weber, and Rand Fishkin.

Does PPC have more benefits than SEO? Comment here.

Churchill pointed to a study from Engine Ready on conversion rates by source of traffic (PPC vs organic).
 
The study found:
- Conversion rates: PPC just barely beat SEO
- Average Order Value: Paid won
- Average time on site: Paid won

She gave the following as advantages of PPC: 
 
- Gives immediate online presence
- Have a new site? Have ads in an hour
- Start getting ROI sooner
- No ramp up time
- Great for seasonal items or time sensitive promotions
- Great for testing
- Easily test effectiveness of new marketing message or site design change
- Quickly gather feedback
- Regulate traffic volume
- Sales pipeline empty? Use PPC to push traffic
- Overloaded? Pause campaigns or cut back spend
- Have limited sales season? Saturate market while demand is high

"PPC is very agile. It's also has targeting advantages," said Churchill.

For targeting, she says PPC provides opportunity for high visibility in multiple channels (search engines, content sites, mobile phones), expands results beyond search results, and gives you control over placement on SERPs and better control over landing page/message.

It's often easier to sell PPC to management because the concept is similar to traditional advertising, and provides for direct accountability. It's easy to track measures of success. It's an effective way to drive qualified traffic to your site, and it allows you to expand your opportunities.

 Weber says the top five reasons why "PPC rules," are: speed, flexibility, it's unlimited, it's goal-driven, and it's controllable. You can quickly manipulate keywords to those that drive conversions, you can quickly change bid prices, and you can quickly get in and out of the market. You can turn your campaign on and off, and change ad copy, keywords, etc. You can target a much wider range of keywords, adhere to a budget, and have an immediate impact on sales.

Fishkin pointed out that PPC gets 10% of clicks, but 90% of spend. He said SEO is more challenging and less controllable, but the spend is there and the fact that people click organic results.

Gray said he believes that PPC could make SEO better, but Google is banning people now, so it makes things more challenging. Naylor said he believes SEO is more "open." Weber and Fishkin both said they would outsource PPC over SEO.

 Gray said it's important to get in the top during the early part of the research phase, especially since Google is personalizing results for everyone now. Churchill noted that Google's personalization is a better argument for PPC. Like iEntry CEO Rich Ord recently noted, the addition of personalized results could "make people less reliant on organic search results for their traffic and in turn increase their use of Adwords."

Another point was brought up as we recently discussed - that the search engines are pushing organic listings down with mixed media (blended, universal) results.

Certainly there are many advantages to both PPC and SEO, and they can compliment one another. Actually, a recent study from a couple of NYU Stern professors found that organic search engine results can play a direct role in whether or not a paid listing is clicked.

12.09.2009

Tips Outsourcing budget social media website performance

1.The Pocket Guide to HR Outsourcing - Money-Saving Strategies & More!
2.How to Provide Adequate Healthcare Coverage on a Budget
3.10 Easy Ways to Effectively Recruit With Social Media
4.5 Tips to Enhance Website Performance & Improve Load Times
5.The Do's & Don'ts of Successful Email Campaigns: Free Checklist

Look out for RapidRequest () links in this bulletin where online request forms are filled in automatically - SAVING YOU TIME!

Small Business Bulletin.

1 The Pocket Guide to HR Outsourcing - Money-Saving Strategies & More! 

Outsourcing even basic HR functions, such as payroll and compensation,
can easily save your organization thousands of dollars in costs each year.
This free guide discusses cost-cutting strategies that you can quickly
implement, while sustaining, and even improving the efficiency of your HR
functions. Plus, you'll learn tips on how to choose the best HRO provider,
as well as determine which HR functions to outsource.
To RapidRequest this free pocket guide,
click here now.


2. How to Provide Adequate Healthcare Coverage on a Budget

You shouldn't have to choose between the health of your business
and your employees' health care coverage.
Take back control today! UnitedHealthcare has a host of features and
services designed especially for small businesses, including:
A breadth of plans to fit your business, your budget and your
employees' needs
Benefits administration designed to be simple
The nation's largest single proprietary network of physicians
An extensive database of doctors who meet national guidelines
for quality of care and cost efficiency
When your employees need care, you want to make sure it's the best.
Click here to request a quote today!


3. 10 Easy Ways to Effectively Recruit With Social Media 

Want to use social media to benefit your business?
Let the experts at CareerBuilder show you how. This on-demand Webinar
explains how social media tools are changing the face of business. Plus, it
gives you 10 easy ways to integrate these tools into your recruiting
practices.
If you want to harness the power of social
media, you can't afford to miss this Webinar.
Click here to RapidRequest it now!


4.  5 Tips to Enhance Website Performance & Improve Load Times 

The days of a purely informational website are at an end.
Delivering good content to your website visitors is challenging when your
competitors are engaging them with interactive media and increasingly
complex web experiences.
This free guide offers five tips that can help you improve performance
and load times, regardless of how complex your website is today, or will
be tomorrow.
Click here to RapidRequest this free guide.


5. The Do's & Don'ts of Successful Email Campaigns: Free Checklist 

Whether your business sends out 500 emails a week or 500,000, there are
certain foolproof policies and strategies you need to put in place to optimize
your campaigns and get the results you need -- every time.
Download this free guide now to learn about those policies! You'll get
a comprehensive checklist of the 18 do's and don'ts you need to implement
in order to improve your delivery, open, and response rates.

Third Generation business blogging with Blogware

Compendium Blogware is the Software Built for Business Blogging

FREE WHITEPAPER:
What Third Generation Blogging Means to You.


The focus of Third Generation business blogging is about getting found in search and generating new business. In order for marketers to accomplish this, it's important to stop stressing about "fans", "rss" and "join my club"... and focus on what truly impacts the bottom line, leads, new opportunities and new business.

So, how do you set up a Third Generation blogging strategy focused on such metrics? That's what this whitepaper is all about.




The Whitepaper Explains:

• Why Third Generation blogging is different from previous eras.
• How blogging tools are evolving to meet the needs of businesses and organizations.
• Why blogs are built for search marketing.
• How to utilize blogs to increase demand for your organization.



If business blogging is top of mind, you might also enjoy this case study. Learn how GK Elite has increased revenues 40% by search focused blogging.  


 


Compendium Blogware is a Web-based blogging platform built for businesses and organizations. With its administrative layers and proprietary Compending feature that maximizes search engine optimization; the company offers businesses an innovative solution for lead generation, customer acquisition and humanizing their marketing.

mobile web Ranked by market share for global sales

The MoFuse Team 
marymeekerThe Mobile Web: Bigger Than You Think
"The Mobile Internet is and will be bigger than most think"
-Mary Meeker, Oct 2009, Web 2.0 conference.

If you're getting this newsletter, Ms. Meeker probably isn't telling you anything you don't already know.

What's interesting is that as the mobile web grows, so does the incredible proliferation of mobile devices and browsers  - driving the need for your mobile presence to optimize across multiple handsets.

Globally, there are more than 5,000 devices in play. Ranked by market share for global sales, the top players are

39.3% Nokia
20.8% Research in Motion
17.1% Apple
6.5% HTC
3.2% Samsung
13.1% Others

Under the "Others" category besides the usual mobile suspects (Motorola, LG, etc.) we're seeing everything from the new Android, to Sony Play Stations and the Wii, to the Kindle pop-up on our network. 

So, if you thought one or two players is about to take over the mobile web, think again. The Mobile Internet is bigger, and perhaps even broader than most think. 
growing A Year To Celebrate
As the Mobile Web Grows, So Goes MoFuse

With your help, in the past year the number of MoFuse mobile sites has more than doubled.   The MoFuse network has experienced a 170% increase in sites from January through the end of November 2009.

We've seen incredible growth not just within the United States, but from South East Asia, Australia, Russia, and parts of Africa.

The good news is traffic to your sites is on the rise as well.  From January through November 2009, traffic across all mobile sites has increased a whopping 275%!

Most significant this year, the launch of our all new MoFuse Premium platform this past April. With Premium we dramatically expanded our capabilities so that customers could now build multi-page mobile sites with tremendous new capabilities for managing mobile.  Features and services include everything from clickable images and custom CSS, to form building for mobile data collection. We also launched entirely new, comprehensive analytics for your mobile site on MoFuse Premium.

Also there is a new API avaialble from MoFuse if you need to build hundreds of mobile sites in minutes - just ask us to tell you more by contacting sales@mofuse.com.

At the end of the day, what all of this adds up to for us is our ability to help you deliver the best mobile experience to your customers.  We think we all have a good reason to celebrate this season!

Maximize Core Applications for More Valuable Data

Business-Ready Data for Core Applications
Dec 16, 2009
2:00 p.m. Eastern / 11:00 a.m. Pacific
Duration: 60 Minutes

 
   
 
Join us at this Webcast where we'll discuss how you can simplify business processes, eliminate redundant applications, and minimize the instances of applications deployed across your enterprise.

For most organizations it's a challenge to simplify processes and improve information quality. Many go-live dates are met only after significant cost overruns. Business users often find their expectations for more accurate data are not met and they continue to paste together information in ad-hoc, costly, and time-consuming ways.

At this Webcast you'll find out how you can build flexibility into your information architecture, cut operational costs, and greatly improve data quality and availability to your enterprise.

You'll be able to:
  • Understand your data and meta-data
  • Establish policies, standards, processes, roles and rules around your data assets to deliver trusted information
  • Measure and visualize the compliance of your data with your business rules
  • Derive actions to improve the business process

Enterprise communications event tradeshow conference

VoiceCon Orlando 2010 :: March 22-25, 010 :: Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
VoiceCon returns to Orlando this March 22-25, and key IT executives, industry analysts and equipment, software and service providers will be presenting and evaluating options for migrating enterprise communications to next-gen capabilities and applications.

Attend the leading enterprise communications event in the industry to see the latest solutions and analyze how to take advantage of the dramatic changes reshaping our industry. There are new players, new products, and new choices, and you don't want to begin your migration without a complete understanding of what it means for your network, your enterprise and your career.

We understand that in these economic times, it's not easy to get approvals to travel for conferences, and so we are changing the program structure — and pricing — to make VoiceCon more modular, more accessible and even more cost effective. We have pricing packages to fit every budget

SPECIAL PRICING: REGISTER & SAVE UP TO $1,000
Register in December and receive an additional $200 discount off the current registration fee. Plus, if you register as part of a team of three or more you can save an additional $200 per person! Use priority code: CNMQVR18.

VoiceCon Conference Program Preview

The VoiceCon Conference Program will address six key issues:
  • Planning and Implementing IP Telephony and Converged Networks
  • Unified Communications
  • Managing Staff, Technology & Costs
  • Communications Applications and Application Development
  • Mobility/Wireless Communications
  • Next-Gen Communications Technologies
Keynotes (as of Dec 1):
  • Avaya
  • Cisco
  • Microsoft
VoiceCon Summits (as of Dec 1):
  • Unified Communications
  • Cloud Computing Role in Enterprise Communications
  • Social Networking and Enterprise Communications
Complete conference session details will be available in mid-January.

The Exhibition is the only place to see ALL of the equipment and software suppliers and the service providers serving the enterprise market in one location.

For more information about VoiceCon Orlando 2010, visit the VoiceCon website.

I look forward to seeing you in Orlando.

Fred S. Knight
General Manager, VoiceCon

Business Technology Event Open for Leading IT

 

What's New. What's Next. See It At Interop Las Vegas :: April 25-29, 2010

Register by 12/31 and Save 40%
Conference
CIO Boot Camp
Enterprise Cloud Summit
Workshops
Expo: See hundreds of leading technology companies. Exhibitors include:
Exhibitors



Registration is Open for the Leading Business Technology Event

Attend Interop Las Vegas to see all the latest IT solutions that will position your organization for growth in 2010.

Interop is the only event to give you a comprehensive understanding of technologies that will impact your organization today, and in the future. Register today.

Learn about all the latest innovations at Interop Las Vegas ? including virtualization, mobility, cloud computing and data center advances ? and identify technology must-haves for your business.

?
Register with Priority Code CNMPLV01 by December 31, 2009 and Save 40% Off Conference Passes



Conference (Details Available in mid-December): Gain comprehensive thought leadership in 13 tracks Tuesday-Thursday, April 27-29:

? Virtualization
? Mobile Business
? Application Delivery
? Information Governance, Risk &
  Compliance
? Video Conferencing
? VoIP and Unified Communications
? Cloud Computing
? Data Center
? IT Security
? Enterprise 2.0
? Networking
? Storage
? Green IT



Full Day Programs ? Focus on key IT issues in full day programs before the Conference, Sunday-Monday, April 24-25:

CIO Boot Camp: Intensive two-day program that helps CIOs, CTOs and senior IT executives understand, get and keep IT's top job.
Enterprise Cloud Summit: Learn about opport?nities offered by cloud technologies and meet vendors driving innovation.
Workshops: Full-day courses with up to the minute, in-depth information, including:

? Principles of Effective IT Management
? Uncovering Application Vulnerabilities
? Securing Windows 7
? Virtualization Management
? Enterprise Mobility Challenges
? Network Troubleshooting
? Successfully Deploying Desktop and Application Virtualization
? Evaluating SharePoint 2007/2010
? Understanding Voice Over IP
? Advanced Protocol Analysis
? Essential Technologies to Overcome Security Threats

Event At-A-Glance



*40% off discount applies to Flex, 4-Day and Conference Passes. Discount calculated based on the on-site price and not combinable with other offers. Proof of current IT involvement required. Prices after discount applied:
Flex: $1,977
4-Day: $1,737
Conference: $1,377



12.07.2009

Marketing monetize secrets searh results

The 6-Steps to Persuasively Presenting Your Results
 
You've successfully launched a survey, gathered results and now it's time to share them with your audience.
I know, reporting research results is supposed to be cut and dried.  No emotion, no opinion, just the facts.  That might be true for academia and basic research, but in the world of business it's all about using the [...]
Blog Post By : Ivana Taylor
View the Blog Post
3 ways to Magnetize People to Your Brand Using Social Media!
 
You've seen people with thousands of fans and followers on Twitter and Facebook. You've heard stories of people selling services and products and making money with Social Media but you haven't been able to get any significant amount of followers or generate any interest, much less income, using these tools. You may be ready to [...]
Blog Post By : Ivana Taylor
View the Blog Post
Double Opt In vs. Single Opt In: Which is Better for Building Your List?
 
One of the reasons we do surveys is to try and figure out what's important to our customers – so we can do more of the good stuff, and less of the stuff that irritates them.  In this months guest post from Patti Renner, That Landing Page Lady, Patti shares some recent findings on how [...]
Blog Post By : Ivana Taylor
View the Blog Post
Search Engine Marketing Secret #2 Revealed: Use the Keyphrases Your Customers Use
 
 Welcome back to our ongoing series with The Search Guru, Leslie Caruthers. Last month, Leslie outlined how important it was to focus on Search Engine Marketing from the very beginning of your web site project.  She also guided us through some easy ways to get on the same page with our developers.  This month, we're focused on getting into our customers world.

Before we launch into the second of the three secrets, take a moment to review our Search Engine Marketing Secret #1: Build Your Site With Search Marketing in Mind.  This is a great reminder that when you write for the web, you are actually writing for two audiences; the reader (most important) and the search engines.  To make sure you are walking the balance between the two, it's important that you and your developers are on the same page.

Now, let's dive into the second secret!

2. Identify the keyphrases (search terms) that your prospects use to find the products and services you offer and then use those keyphrases in your copy, aka keyphrase research.

This can be tricky for a lot of people in their business. You know too much. And then there’s the jargon.

The right keyphrases are customer focused, not industry focused. They aren’t jargon. They come straight from your prospects and customers, not marketing or R&D. To successfully drive targeted traffic to your web site, you and your customer must speak the exact same language. Keyphrase research uncovers the phrases your prospects are typing into the search boxes on search engines.

Think of terms that a customer would use to search for the information, products or services you offer. After you’ve spent some time brainstorming and then brainstorming variations of those now look at your list. Pull any single-word keywords â€" those will be too competitive (almost always) and often too ambiguous.

Consider the manufacturer of dinnerware that is certain his main keyphrase is China. Do a search in Google for China â€" what do you see? Yup â€" it’s all about the country and it’s WAY too competitive (631,000,000 pages are competing on that keyword!). “Long tailâ€� keyphrases (phrases with 3 or more words) like “Kate Spade chinaâ€� or “replacement Wedgewood chinaâ€� convert the best and you can win there.

You are never too busy to make more money, right? Good keyphrase research can help generate cash in hand for your company. Search Engine Optimization is about being where your prospects are looking; keyphrase research tells you where they are looking. Skip this step and you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Everything else you do (copywriting, link building, buzz marketing, social media) builds off this step.

And don’t forget… While it is critical to rank well with the search engines, you must never forget it is the human customer that matters â€" search engines don’t buy your products, services or click on your advertisements; people do.

Next month, we’ll share the 3rd secret: quality links from related but non competing websites to your website and how to get them!

This month’s opportunities:

Didn’t take on last month’s search marketing opportunities? Go back and start there â€" that’s your best bet â€" then move up to this list after that.

  1. Check out these keyphrase research tools:
      
    1. Google AdWords free keyphrase research tool: https://AdWords.Google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
       
    2. WordTracker, a subscription keyphrase research tool that is a standard in the Search Marketing industry. You can try the tool for free (and get a limited data set) or buy a day, week, month or year membership. Start small and buy and day and play!
       
    3. KeyWord Discovery keyphrase research tool: http://www.KeyWordDiscovery.com â€" great when your business is seasonal and you aren’t within a few months of the season â€" this tool offers access to 12 months of data. \
       
  1. Read more on keyphrase research and the difference it will make for your business.
     
  2. Bonus: read past blog posts: http://www.thesearchguru.com/blog/ and back issues of the newsletter here: http://www.thesearchguru.com/email-archive.asp to learn more.
     
  3. Register for Google Analytics if you haven’t yet: http://www.google.com/analytics/
     
  4. Register for Google Webmaster Tools http://www.thesearchguru.com/google-webmaster-tools.asp if you haven’t yet.
     
  5. Read through the Search Marketing Terms Glossary and catch up on basic terminology.
     
  6. Burning question or comment? Email me at Results@TheSearchGuru.com.
      
     

Leslie Carruthers is President of The Search Guru, a best practices full services Search Marketing firm creating breakthrough results for their clients since 2004. Leslie can be reached at 440-306-2418 or Results@TheSearchGuru.com.


 

12.03.2009

Simple changes can increase your website traffic and expose avoid common errors

Site Review: How a Few Simple Changes Can Make A BIG Difference for Your Website

by Erin Emmerson

As promised, here is the first of the site reviews for the three winners of our recent contest. We chose to review Derek S's site, http://www.electricgenesis.com in part because some of the mistakes on his site came up on a lot of the other entries. So chances are good that the advice we give to Derek is going to help you, too.

Derek offers a computer upgrading service that can save people money by taking their current computers and making them state of the art.

When he entered, Derek told us his site "has come under heavy fire for its lack of cosmetic features." So let's look at the appearance of Derek's site first...

electricgenesis site review

1. Make it easy on the eyes and more people will read it

Derek, the first thing that struck us about your site was the white text on a black background. Studies have shown over and over again that website copy is easiest to read with black text against a white background.

Right now, your white-on-black scheme makes it tough for your visitors to read your copy and understand what your site is about. And your red and blue scheme for the navigation is even harder on the eyes.

The first rule of web design is make everything easy. People searching the Web for information are brutally efficient. The second they run into an obstacle, they're gone.

Compare side by side and see which one is easier to read -- black text on a white background, or the opposite, white text on a black background?
Compare side by side and see which one is easier to read -- black text on a white background, or the opposite, white text on a black background?

It's natural to try to make your site look exciting, but test after test shows that boring -- i.e., easy to read -- is what people actually want on a website.

Derek, you also told us that "... this website is also designed to have accessibility options and any cosmetic adjustments cannot interfere with that."

Your accessibility options allow visitors to choose a different color scheme -- black text against a lilac, yellow, or peach background -- but, again, dyslexia experts recommend sticking to classic black-on- white.

2. Keep your copy in the ideal margins

Here's another tip to make your site easier for your visitors to read: Make sure the main copy section of your site is no more than 600 pixels max.

Studies show that the human eye can only scan from left to right so far before eyestrain sets in. On the Web, people scan down the page, with very little horizontal reading, as this "heatmap" shows. They'd far rather scroll down to read a longer page with narrow margins than move their eyes across a wide page.

With your copy stretching all the way across the browser window, readers are missing most of what you want them to see. You would be doing them a huge favor if you narrowed the copy section of your site to 600 pixels max.

And if you make it easier for your visitors to read your words, you make it easier for them to sign up for your service... which is doing yourself a huge favor, too.

3. Simple navigation means more sales

Remember that with every click you make people take to accomplish something, you'll end up losing a third of your visitors -- so you don't want to give them too many options. Confuse them... and you lose them!

One of the biggest issues we ran into among the contest entries was too many web pages. With 12 pages of navigation, Derek, you're not alone. We recommend a maximum of eight navigation links at the top or left-hand column of your site. It should be easy for you to compress your 12 navigation options into eight... or even fewer.

You could combine your "Pricing" and "Offers" material on one page so if people are looking into what you offer, it's all there. It would also make sense to incorporate any relevant information from the "Legal" page here, and eliminate that page altogether.

We also recommend eliminating your "Charity" and "Survey" pages.

Because your homepage makes it clear that your main service is computer repairs and upgrades, everything on your site should be focused on achieving one goal: to get people to sign up for that specific service. You don't want to distract them with a donation request for your favorite charity, or a survey that only applies to pre-existing customers, for example. Those could be better handled by email.

The "book an appointment" opt-in form is now on its own page. It should be on every page so people don't have to click to it when they've decided they want to contact you. One more obstacle removed! We'll suggest some effective wording for it in a minute.

Now let's focus on your site's content, which could use a few tweaks to target your audience more effectively.

4. Keep your niche NARROW

To succeed online, your site needs to appeal to a targeted group of people who are searching for a solution to the same problem. At first glance, we thought your site did a good job of that. Your homepage speaks directly to the needs of people in the Toronto area who want to save money by upgrading their existing computer system instead of investing in an entirely new one.

Then we clicked on your "store" link at the top of your site... and were surprised to discover you're also selling products ranging from computer performance-enhancing tools to software for card collectors to CDs on pain management!

Each of these products appeals to a very different group. People who are going online to find someone to fix their computer are not looking for pain management CDs, and people who suffer from chronic pain aren't very likely to be interested in software that will help them manage their card collections.

If you want to keep marketing all these diverse products, you should strongly consider selling each one on its own separate site. You will find it far easier to appeal to the different niches you're targeting that way.

5. Emphasize benefits in your headline

Here's your headline right now:

salescopy writing tips

Great work! This headline does a good job of relating to your market and establishing exactly what your site is about. That puts you way ahead of about 80% of the websites out there.

Now let's see what happens if we emphasize the benefits of your service a bit more, like so:

If Your Computer is Less than Five Years Old,
You Can Save Hundreds of Dollars


Turn Your Clunky, Slow Computer into a Fast, Powerful Machine
For 1/10th of the Price of a Whole New System!

This way, not only are you relating to your visitors' problems (a clunky, slow computer) and advertising your services, you are also emphasizing the fact that you can help them save a LOT of money -- which has a lot of appeal in today's economy for sure!

(Note: Avoid using ALL-CAPS in your headline. It's hard to read and often comes off as "shouting." It's usually better to just capitalize the first letter of every word.)

6. Write copy that strategically leads your visitors to your call to action

After your headline, your copy should speak directly to your visitors, relating to their needs and presenting you as the logical person to provide a solution. Right now, your copy consists of an introductory paragraph that repeats itself too much and includes a call to action buried at the end. That's followed by a long list of questions and a testimonial that doesn't really address the specific needs of your visitors.

Here's how we would change it:

Dear Toronto-area Computer Owner,

Are you sick of having your computer freeze up on you right in the middle of working on an important project? Or waiting forever for your web browser to load a simple website?

When you see the latest Dell or Mac commercials, are you green with envy at the idea of owning a computer that can run a dozen high-powered applications at once without ever crashing or going all "buggy" on you?

Even the best computer systems can go buggy after a while. Maybe you've unknowingly downloaded some adware or spyware or a computer virus... or maybe your inner circuitry is starting to short out because there's too much dust on your motherboard.

Whatever the problem is, I can help you fix it -- and save you $100s in the process!

If your computer is less than five years old, chances are extremely good that I can perform a simple upgrade that will fix your system and have it operating as fast and efficiently as the latest models currently being sold for hundreds of dollars at your local Future Shop.

How do I know this?

I'll admit it: I am a professional computer geek. In the ten years I have worked as a professional computer programmer and software designer, I have experienced every kind of computer mishap imaginable, and have figured out how to solve these problems with minimum fuss and bother. I can build computer systems from scratch and take apart existing ones and immediately out how to make them work better and faster.

So if you want to turn your clunky "Edsel" of a computer into a top-of-the-line Ferrari, I'm your man!

Here's what some of my satisfied customers say about me:

[Here you should include some testimonials from clients who can specifically talk about how you fixed their computer or upgraded their systems and saved them lots of money in the process. If you don't have any testimonials like these then we strongly suggest you email your clients and ask for them or do some computer repair/upgrade work for your friends and get them to provide testimonials to this effect.]

To discover how I can turn your bug-infested computer into a web-surfing, data-crunching powerhouse, call me at: (your phone number) or sign up for a free consultation now. Guaranteed response within 24 hours!

[Here you should include your opt-in form where people can enter their name and email address. This contact information and form should be on every page of your site.]


... Do you see how this sample copy relates to people by identifying with their problems and then building up your credibility before presenting them with your call to action?

Derek, if you revamp your site according to our recommendations and then start a Google AdWords campaign that targets phrases like "computer repair" or "cheap computer upgrades" and geotargets the Toronto area only, we guarantee you will drive more qualified visitors to your site and see a serious improvement in your conversions.

Thanks for letting us "look under the hood," Derek. We hope you find this guidance helpful, and we'd love to hear what results you get once you've incorporated our suggestions!

For our other readers, take a moment to give your site a quick checkup with these questions:
  1. Do I use black text against a white background and limit the width of my copy to 600 pixels max so that it's as easy as possible for my visitors to read?

  2. Does my site content target a specific niche and is it focused on one purpose only? (Such as getting the members of that niche to buy your product or service.)

  3. Does my headline do a good job of stating the benefits of using my product or service?

  4. Does my copy relate to my customers' problems, emphasize the benefits of my product or service, establish my credibility, then lead people logically to my call to action?
If your answer to any of these questions is no, then we suggest you consider making some changes to your website right away so you can get it in prime condition and start off the New Year right!

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