Monthly Archives: February 2010

ProFusion Products Forum

ProFusion FaviconProFusion Products or those of you who know us as Net Solutions, has continued to strive for client education. We believe that there is a strong community of individuals that manage and maintain their websites using one or more ProFusion Products. Many of our clients have been around for years, others for only a few weeks or days. Regardless of how long you have been with us we encourage you to use our newProFusion Forum, you can find it at http://profusionforum.com

By using the forum you can come together with like minded individuals that also manage and maintain their website on the same platform. Our hope is the community can better educate each other, rather than each person being isolated on their own website island.

We look forward to hearing from you on the ProFusion Products Forum, and are glad to have you as part of our family.

ProFusion Products Logo

How to make Forum Avatars

Making an avatar for a forum, blog, or other application is actually a pretty easy process once you know the site requirements.

Basically, an avatar is a small image of you, or something representative of you. Often times people use avatars as an iconic representation of how they manifest themselves in reality. However, regardless of how you see yourself, often the forum or the environment will control what type of avatar is appropriate. If you are on a business forum, perhaps an image of yourself, or professional photo is appropriate, but if you are on a social forum a little more creativity would be acceptable.

Here are a few examples of avatars I found on the internet.

Fred Flinstone Avatar Smiling Man Avatar Blue Eye Avatar Animated Cat Avatar Animated Eye Avatar Help I'm On-Line and Can't Quit Avatar
Real Cartoon Characters Fantasy Cartoon Characters Provocative Image Avatar Funny Animated Gifs Strange Animated Gifs Text Based Avatar

As you can see there is a large variety of avatars you can use for your forum or blog image. The important point is to be creative, and do not take yourself to serious.

Once you find the image you want to use, the hardest part is getting it re-sized to the dimensions set by the website. Using an image resizing tool can easily help you do just that. I recommend the image resizer found on the ProFusion Products website as it makes life far easier to re-size your avatar image.

mixing old school and new school

My dad (Bob Reynolds, CEO of Net Solutions) and I have shared an office since August of 2009. Not a big office, probably 12′ x 12′. At first this annoyed the crap out of me. He eavesdrops on my phone calls, he types loudly and we definitely operate with two different internal thermostats. After I got over the initial minor annoyances of sharing an office, I started to realize that there could be some real benefits to this new situation.

Bob has been in business forever. As far back as I can remember he and my mom have owned and operated their own business. As a kid, I saw first hand the dedication, hard work, and tenacity that it took to be a small business owner. Sharing an office with someone who has 30 + more years of experience than I do has taught me a lot of things.

  • Before you know why John Smith buys what John Smith buys you have to see the world through John Smiths eyes. – As I now eavesdrop on Bob’s conversations with people, I hear that he has an uncanny ability to relate to people about their business. Within a matter of minutes, he knows who their clients are, what their clients are afraid of and what that means to the business owner. To the business owner, this brings great peace of mind. It gives them the feeling that this guy actually understands my problems and my issues. Translating those pain points into marketing plans, website content, and new processes has allowed NSNA to help many small business owners.
  • Take sales calls – I am a 20-something and rarely take calls from people that are obvious sales calls. My theory? If I needed your service I would have sought you out. Bob’s opinion is totally different. He’ll listen to your sales pitch but it had better be good. Many young salesmen have cut their teeth talking to Bob. I am sure many of them quit after they get off the phone with him, but others became better because of the conversation with Bob. We also now have access to many products and applications that we wouldn’t have if Bob had not taken these calls.
  • Think through all the possibilities – we had a recent phone call with a large potential partner that could mean many changes for the growth pattern of NSNA. In preparation for the phone call, I had one scenario that I played out time and time again. To me, this partnership would only work one way. That is, until I talked to Bob. Bob then gave me a litany of other possibilities that could come from this partnership. On the call, we were able to mention a number of ways we could work together which made the partner very excited.
  • You can do it – above all, I am learning the power of saying yes and feeling super confident that we can deliver on whatever I say yes to. With proper planning, a thorough understanding, a large heap of good sense, and persistence anything is possible.

So while I may miss my private office, the lessons I am learning by eavesdropping on my dad’s conversations have actually catapulted my understanding of general business operations. Plus it is fun teaching him about the new ways of doing business. Showing him Twitter and Facebook and explaining why people care what I had for lunch is quite entertaining. Also showing him the real time feedback that we get when I post a question on the various social media outlets is pretty great. The combination of the tried and true business methods mixed with the latest and greatest trends of our time have created a nice symbiotic environment in our little office.

2010 Website Directories

While the very course of website directory submission seems to change every day, the fact remains that there is some value in submitting your website to the most popular directories on the Internet. So how do we decide which are the most popular? By using the tools provided to us every day by the search engines; namely Alexa Rank and Google Page Rank.

Below you will find a list of some 150+ website directories ranked in order of Alexa rank, which also tends to coincide with Google Page Rank but not in all cases. We have also provide the website homepage, along with the page where you can go to submit your website. If the directory requires you to select a category before being taken to the submission page, then the “Submit Here” link also takes you to the directory homepage.

If we missed a directory that you feel should be added to the list please include it in the comments below, we will be sure to add it to our next update!

 

Directory Name

Submission URL

Google
Page Rank

Alexa
Rank

Free Directories

Digg

Submit Here

8

102

Yelp

Submit Here

6

329

Reddit

Submit Here

8

351

Dmoz

Submit Here

8

707

Entireweb

Submit Here

Merchantcircle

Submit Here

7

1,247

Thomasnet

Submit Here

8

4,206

Insider Pages

Submit Here

7

4,273

Jayde

Submit Here

4

4,496

Dramba

Submit Here

Scrubtheweb

Submit Here

5

5,501

Dhdphoto

Submit Here

3

6,358

Illumirate

Submit Here

Searchsight

Submit Here

5

9,039

Pegasusdirectory

Submit Here

5

14,368

Directoryvault

Submit Here

3

14,872

Littlewebdirectory

Submit Here

3

15,826

Prolinkdirectory

Submit Here

5

15,921

onemission

Submit Here

4

17,588

A1webdirectory

Submit Here

4

17,866

Viesearch

Submit Here

4

18,377

Linkcenter

Submit Here

3

18,758

SonicRun

Submit Here

Hitwebdirectory

Submit Here

6

19,110

Hot vs Not Directory

Submit Here

6

19,750

Linksite

Submit Here

3

20,464

Svguia

Submit Here

4

20,888

Linkaddurl

Submit Here

4

21,384

Infousa

Submit Here

4

22,872

Somuch

Submit Here

5

23,089

Secret Search Engine Labs

Submit Here

Amfibi

Submit Here

Skoobe

Submit Here

Directorystorm

Submit Here

4

23,104

Gigablast

Submit Here

Wondex

Submit Here

Amray

Submit Here

4

23,171

Investhz

Submit Here

3

23,291

Directory-free

Submit Here

5

23,703

Arakne

Submit Here

4

23,816

Ldmstudio

Submit Here

3

24,055

Directory link

Submit Here

3

24,155

Freewebdirectory

Submit Here

6

24,568

Worldweb

Submit Here

7

24,688

Webnetclick

Submit Here

3

24,737

Mastermoz

Submit Here

5

24,959

Info-listings

Submit Here

4

25,102

Infotiger

Submit Here

5

25,351

Wikidweb

Submit Here

4

25,455

Ccwos

Submit Here

6

25,571

Allthewebsites

Submit Here

5

25,576

Eduology

Submit Here

4

25,697

Nmrs

Submit Here

5

25,963

Jadoyc Free Webdirectory

Submit Here

4

26,426

Infognos Directory

Submit Here

3

26,453

Aauml

Submit Here

3

26,485

Surfsafely

Submit Here

5

27,513

9sites

Submit Here

4

28,260

Nzs

Submit Here

6

29,225

Web Search Directory

Submit Here

3

29,970

Zico Sur

Submit Here

5

30,579

Linkdir4u

Submit Here

3

32,891

Fullogo

Submit Here

3

33,736

Busybits

Submit Here

3

37,085

BT-T Directory

Submit Here

5

37,309

Theseoking

Submit Here

3

40,523

Ribcast

Submit Here

5

40,722

Atgear

Submit Here

5

40,832

Eliteweb

Submit Here

5

42,560

Forage

Submit Here

3

43,284

Rcreduction

Submit Here

5

43,376

aaenj

Submit Here

4

43,596

Netinsert

Submit Here

4

43,643

Mavicanet

Submit Here

4

47,614

Payvand

Submit Here

6

47,852

Marketingwebdirectory

Submit Here

6

48,123

Roask

Submit Here

4

48,182

Url.biz

Submit Here

5

52,571

Localeze

Submit Here

4

54,216

Worlwide Gateway

Submit Here

5

56,981

Itzalist

Submit Here

5

60,298

Autowebdirectory

Submit Here

4

63,344

R-tt directory

Submit Here

3

63,844

Clickey

Submit Here

5

64,427

Landoflinks

Submit Here

3

68,052

Zensearch

Submit Here

3

68,852

Thelocalweb

Submit Here

4

70,720

Rdirectory

Submit Here

5

72,548

European Web Directory

Submit Here

5

78,940

Poddys

Submit Here

4

91,488

Gomylocal

Submit Here

3

93,710

Sgtsearch

Submit Here

4

99,208

Bizseo

Submit Here

5

100,073

Free Website directory

Submit Here

4

116,655

Gogreece

Submit Here

6

118,233

Polypat

Submit Here

6

119,283

Buildingonline

Submit Here

6

293,009

Ibrain

Submit Here

3

365,884

Tekguide

Submit Here

5

367,495

Allshops

Submit Here

4

695,602

Worthwhilelink

Submit Here

5

766,255

Paid Directories
Botw

Submit Here

7

4,722

Ezilon

Submit Here

6

5,884

Entireweb

Submit Here

4

7,873

Web World

Submit Here

3

14,928

Chiff

Submit Here

3

17,039

Canlinks

Submit Here

5

18,968

Mygreencorner

Submit Here

3

20,026

Yellow Pages

Submit Here

7

776

Common SEO Questions

SEO Frequently Asked QuestionsSearch Engine Optimization Experts can be like the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz. Scary until you find out who they are and what they can do for you. Below is a list of questions I am asked nearly every day by my cleints, hopefully this can answer a few of the questions you have regarding SEO.

  1. What does SEO stand for?
  2. SEO means different things to different people, but the acronym SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

  3. What is SEO?
  4. Defining SEO five years ago would have been a far easier task than it is today. Five years ago there was a relative road map for what SEO needed to be done to boost a website to the top rankings. Today, that road map is closer to a treasure map, where you have a giant X on where you want to go, but the process to get there is only marked with a few landmarks. Another way to look at SEO is, the art of doing anything and everything to build the relevance of a website in the Internet sphere, resulting in top rankings in the search engine result pages.

  5. How come my website is not ranked #1 in Google? or why can’t I find my website in Google search results?
  6. There are a couple hundred reasons why your website might not rank in the search engines, to answer for your specific website I would need to review it in detail. However, generally speaking:

    1. If you can find your website, but not in the top spots of Google then the likely result is not enough time/resources spent on SEO. Seek out an SEO expert that can guide you through the steps to achieve first page rankings.
    2. If you cannot find your website at all then the likely result is you have not spent any time on SEO. Start with the basics and validate your website with the major search engines, from there you will likely notice that you rank for some long tail keywords, before you start ranking for general keywords. Certainly an SEO expert would be a wise investment at this time.
  7. Why am I #1 all the time when I search but when my friends search for me they cannot find me?
  8. This is most likely the result of personalized search by Google. If you have this enabled, Google has learned what sites you prefer and shows those at the top of your results. Try signing out of Google in the top right corner before conducting a search. Also make sure that everyone is typing in the word the same way. You can get drastically different results searching for a word with or without quotes, or with minor spelling changes.

  9. With SEO, when will we see results?
  10. Unfortunately, the only way to answer this question is to say ‘It Depends’ That being said, if it depends, what are some of the factors that influence when my site will rank. Here are a few of my favorites.

    • How old is your website? Older sites (5+ years) tend to have seniority as an influence in their results, thus they tend to rank higher.
    • Does your website have relevant content for the words you are seeking to rank for? If your site only sells ‘red widgets’ and you are trying to rank for ‘blue widgets’ this is a lost cause. Try building valuable content specific to the keywords you are trying to rank for.
    • What is the competition level for your business? What word would you use to find your business, besides your business name, or website name. Take that word and type it into Google and search. Once the search is complete, look in the top right corner, the number that displays is the amount of competition for that keyword. Are there millions of web pages competing for that term or only a handful?
    • Last but not least is effort. Effort, like anything means the difference between the best in the world, and those that simply pick up the scraps. I meet with clients every day, and we spell out a road map to SEO success. Some clients leave everything to us, and we build and promote their website with great success. Other clients due to budget restraints or desire to prove they can do it, decide they want to help us in the SEO process. These same clients leave the office pumped up that they are going to do X, Y and Z to boost their rankings. Then 3 months down the road, not only have they not done X, Y and Z, they have lost the potential revenue that could have been generated by increased rankings as a result of X, Y and Z. End result, if you do not have the time, or knowledge to put into SEO, let a professional do it for you.
  11. What keywords should I use?
  12. I cannot overstate this enough to clients, the keywords you select have a direct impact on your rankings and on your website traffic. Let’s say for this example, we are a lawyer in San Diego, California specializing in DUI cases. What type of keywords would you select? If you are selecting global keywords like “DUI Lawyer” you are barking up the wrong tree. You need to narrow your focus to ensure that you can rank for the word, but also that the business you generate is valuable. Let’s say you put in a large amount of money into SEO that would be required so you could rank for “DUI Lawyer” Now that you rank well, when people in New York search for DUI Lawyer, they find your business. Is this good or bad? Bad would be the correct answer. What value are you to a client in New York if you cannot represent them? You are better off selecting better keywords in the beginning, and spending your money on keywords like “DUI Lawyer San Diego” which will take less time (read less money on SEO), and give you more relevant results specific to your business in your geographical location.

  13. Can my website rank for iPhones?
  14. Do you sell iPhones? Are you an Apple distributor? Do you support iPhones? Do you want to spend $50k every month on SEO? Those are just a few of the questions I would start off with. Just because something is popular, does not mean you can simply put up a website and start ranking for it. However, if you want to head down this road of selling or promoting popular products, the word you should Google is ‘Affiliate Marketing.’ Affiliate marketing allows you to promote other peoples products, and when they make a sale because of a lead you generated, then you get a kick back.

  15. Can we rank for every single keyword related to my business?
  16. The short answer is yes, but it is going to take time. Generally speaking, for every page on your website, if it has at least 750 words on it, you can use that page for 2-3 keywords. If the page has fewer than 750 words, then you need to scale back your expectations on the number of keywords you can rank for from that page. Beyond that it is pretty much simple math, if you want to rank for 300 keywords, then you need to start with 100 pages of unique content specific to the keywords you wish to rank for. While you are building the content, be sure to focus on SEO so you can ensure you pages pack a punch in the search engines. Learn more about How to write valuable content for your website.

  17. How much does SEO cost?
  18. Well, let me turn this question and ask you how much does a house cost? Before you could answer how much a house would cost you would need more information, the same is true for SEO. To carry the anology further, the questions you would want to know are what type of house do you want (products/services do you sell), what type of construction materials were used to build the house (how the website is coded), what city/state do you want to live in ( what is the competition level for your business) and finally how soon do you want to move in (how so do you need your website to rank ). Having those few items defined makes it is far easier to determine what type of SEO package you need for your website, along with what type of ongoing expense is needed to ensure you get top rankings.

  19. Why is SEO so expensive?
  20. For the same reason that cars and houses so expensive. As fundamental as it sounds is SEO takes lots of time, resources and work to build website rankings in search engines. Often clients spend a large portion of their budget building a website, getting the perfect design and layout, which is great but the end result is none of that effort actually brings in business or generates traffic. SEO on the other hand, while it can be expensive actually makes your business money and generates traffic. The expense of SEO and SEM is eventually out weighed by the profit it generates. The key thing to remember, is the first year of SEO can often be frustrating because you are not seeing the top rankings, you need to keep in mind that top rankings take time, so your investment like a house is long term.

  21. How long does it take to get indexed by Google?
  22. With a properly SEO’d website, Google and the other major search engines can index your website within days or weeks. However, without SEO your website may never rank.

  23. How do I submit my new site to Google/Bing/Yahoo etc.?
  24. In modern SEO times, we do not submit websites to the major search engines. Currently, rather than submitting a website, you need to create an account with the major search engines, then the search engines provide some verification files for you to upload to your website. Once you verify that you are the owner, you can also submit your XML sitemap giving the search engines a few clues on where your website pages are located. Learn how to use Google’s Free SEO tools.

  25. How do I submit to 1000 search engines at the same time?
  26. There are hundreds of companies on the web offering to do this service for a very few dollars. They have automated scripts that submit your site for you. Then end result is these companies are nothing but spam services, they know that you have no way to prove if they did or did not submit your websites. Also, even if they do submit your website their is no guarantee you will be listed. Your better off spending your time/money building valuable content, rather than trying to find a way to spam the search engines.

  27. Do I need an XML sitemap?
  28. Yes, XML sitemaps allow search engines to find the pages of your website. That being said, with a well constructed/SEO’d website the need for an XML sitemap becomes less and less.

  29. Do I need unique meta tags for my website?
  30. Just like chapters in a book, each page of your website should have a unique meta tag title and description. This information is reviewed by search engines, and display in their search engine result pages. Well written meta tags can help you rank for your chosen keywords, and ensure you get clicks once you rank for those keywords. Learn more about How to Build Meta Tags.

  31. Do I need a high PageRank for SEO?
  32. No, the little green bar that Google has in their tool bar is often out of date, and not an accurate representation of how your website should rank. Often websites have top rankings, but only a 1 or 2 for their page rank in the tool bar.

  33. What is linkbait?
  34. Linkbait is a method of building content for your website that entices users to link to it. One of the original forms of linkbait was free video games. Websites would build a fun, addictive little game for their website, and then people would link to it so their friends could also visit the pages to find the game. Linkbait has now evolved into everything from putting videos, promotions, valuable written content, etc on your website all in an effort to build links to particular pages on their website. This article itself is an example of link bait.

  35. I get asked this question in many forms, but the general message is the same.
  36. Can’t my niece, nephew, brother, sister-in-law, intern, friend of a friend, etc who is a graphic designer, web developer, computer programmer, Dreamweaver expert, etc do the SEO for my website?

    My guess is that person can also cook, but would they be in the kitchen of a fine dinning restaurant? There is a reason for using a professional for certain tasks, and SEO is no different. You would not want your brother to build you a house simply because he knows how to use a hammer. With SEO, unless you are constantly staying up with the trends, and changes in the industry, having someone other than a professional perform SEO services is asking for trouble.

  37. Why should I outsource my SEO?
  38. Unless you have a competent in house SEO, your better off using a company that can give your SEO campaign the attention it deserves. You most likely contracted to have your website built by someone other than an employee of your company. SEO should be no different. Just because you read a few stories on the internet about SEO, does not mean you are qualified to manage the SEO campaign for your business. Remember, SEO is one of the few online tools that actually generate business, just like sales staff you don’t want just anyone trying to make or break your businesses success, you want the right person for the job.

  39. Is SEO designed for search engines not humans?
  40. Some people assume that SEO is designed to ‘game’ the system so that your website can outrank the competition. It is actually just the opposite, search engines give you good rankings when you give consumers good information, resources, tools, products, services, etc. If you build for the consumer, the search engines will come.

  41. Is buying links, hidden text, IP delivery etc. black hat SEO?
  42. Those are a few of the ‘black hat’ SEO techniques that have been used by some SEO companies. Depending on the degree and frequency you use them will determine the affect on your website ranking. My suggestion is to avoid them all together. If you cheat on a test you may not get caught today, but eventually it will catch up to you.

  43. Is black hat SEO legal?
  44. No one is in jail because they used ‘black hat’ SEO. At the same time, the sites that have been caught no longer display in the search engine rankings. So ask yourself how important short term gains are from using ‘black hat’ methods, compared to the long term success of your business.

  45. Does the size of your website matter?
  46. Yes, to some degree it does but not as much as it used to. Years ago, websites that had over 100 pages tended to rank better than websites with less than 100. In modern SEO, the quality of your content has more of a reflection on your rankings than does the quantity of the pages on your website.

Do you still have more questions regarding SEO? Add them to the comment section below, who knows you question may be added to the SEO FAQ!

why most small businesses need a web developer

we were developing a site for a client and were 99% done when they called and said their current site was down. Rather than attempting to contact their current host and/or web developer to get the old site back up, we opted just to take the new site live. When I logged in to their current hosts control panel, I saw this message.

This client is an average small business owner and the message on the screen meant absolutely nothing to him. He didn’t know how to pull a backup of his site or replace the temporary files that the host had placed on his homepage. From this experience he learned a couple of things:

  • 1. Although he wanted to be able to control the content on his site, he did not want to be in charge of hosting his site. Working with a company like Net Solutions who does all the managed hosting, backups, email, etc. gave him great peace of mind.

    2. He didn’t want to be on a shared server where one open source application (Joomla) could take down an entire server.

    3. He wanted a company that he could call and talk to a real, live person. When he attempted to get support on this issue he found they were “experiencing higher than normal call volumes.” He was asked to leave a message and the call would be returned within 5 business days. I don’t know about you, but 5 days is a really long time to have your website be down.

  • If you are attempting to build a do-it-yourself website with an open source application like Joomla, please give us a call first. With our ProFusion Ultra Internet Solution, you get the benefits of a do-it-yourself program without the hassle of having to set up a hosting environment and the worry of hackers taking down your site. While we can’t claim that our proprietary program is 100% unhackable, we do have extraordinary measures in place to make sure that any attack on our server is dealt with in a fast and furious manner. We also do all the backup and technical work for you. So in the event that an attack does penetrate our servers, we are able to quickly and efficiently reinstate your website from a backup. We then go to work on solving where our security measures failed and make sure they are patched as well.

    Delivering peace of mind… that is all part of being everything you need for the web in one place.

    Adobe/Omniture Email Marketing – Sometimes even the big boys get it wrong

    Monday morning I came into the office and started filtering through a weekends worth of emails. Typically I am a little rushed to get through the emails, so I can get onto other items. This Monday was no different, I was reading and responding to my emails just as I normally would. Then something changed when I came upon this email. It literally stopped me in my tracks, and I actually read it three times before I moved on.

    Adobe Email Number 1

    Now I am not sure what your reaction was, but when I first read it I thought I was being called a “doormat”. Which immediately got me off on the wrong foot. Obvious to me was the fact this was a bulk email that was not just sent to me, but was sent to a large group of people. Since Net Solutions is in the email marketing business, we often read bulk emails with a critical eye to see what can be gained/learned. This email was no exception, I knew there was something to be learned. I knew that I needed some time to process my thoughts on this email, so I continued reading other emails. Little did I know, the emails blasts were not over, as I kept reading one or two emails later I received this email.

    Adobe Email Number 2

    Well, whatever forgiving bones I had left in my body were shattered by this second email. One was certainly enough to get the point across, but the second in under 30 minutes sent shivers of anger down my spine. For anyone who knows me, they know now was my turn to write an email, click here to see the screen shot of the email, but since it is my email I will copy it here.

    Travis and anyone else this may concern,

    This is probably one of the top 10 most direct bulk emails I have ever received. Being in the email marketing industry only occasionally do I read bulk emails since most of them are garbage. However, your two emails sent to me today got me to read them both. I even printed them out to share them with my staff, so that we could consider the ramifications of sending bulk emails such as yours. If you are interested, all of our immediate responses were identical.

    “So now that you are reading this (proof that you do exist), here is a simple way you can help me”

    I had to use a few of your choice words as they felt applicable. By the time I was done reading your emails I had moved beyond the point of being offended, and actually found it comical the degree to which you had pushed a potential client. Needless to say, I will no longer consider your product or service for my personal or business use. While some adobe products we cannot live without, I certainly will try to avoid paying for any of your products in the future.

    So while you were successful, I read your email, I have now gone in the exact opposite direction from using your service to actually using you as an example of what not to do. You can plan on my account remaining “dormant”, as I will unsubscribe from your mailing list immediately (despite your obvious effort to hide the unsubscribe link).

    Thanks for reminding me how not to perform email marketing.

    Shane

    Now certainly I was a little hot under the collar when I wrote that email, and now even a day later I can see room for improvement in my choice of words. Nonetheless, the general message would still be the same. So while my response may have been a little inappropriate, it was certainly appropriate given the tone of the original emails.

    Once the war of words was over, and given some time to reflect on the email, what can we learn about email marketing?

    1. I think it is important to understand the emotional response elicited by the email. Certainly if their goal was to get me to respond, then job well done. However, I think they could have used the same basic message and delivered it with a softer less offensive tone.
    2. Choice of words, I want to address the specific choice of the word ‘dormant’ When selecting certain words, and in particular words that appear in the first few lines of an email, it is important to understand how those words could be perceived. They could easy have said “inactive” or “latent” and had the same message delivered without the risk of being offensive.
    3. Last is the “unsubscribe link” which was pushed way down past the bottom line of Travis’s signature. For those of you new to email marketing, I would refer you to the Can Spam Act which outlines the rules and regulations for email marketing. One of the items in this act, is that every bulk email blast should include an ‘unsubscribe link’ to allow people to opt out of your mailing list. Many companies put the ‘unsubscribe link’ right at the top of their email blast, others include it towards the bottom. Most of the time they actually use the text ‘unsubscribe here’ or ‘click here to unsubscribe for our mailing list.’ However, that is not what Adobe and Travis have done, instead they pushed the link all the way to the very bottom using the text ‘Manage your Subscriptions, click here’ which is really not very intuitive, but the worse part is how far down in the email blast it is located.

    So there are certainly lessons to be learned here about email marketing. Omniture has lost me as a client, but certainly they can take this advice and adjust their bulk email practices and move towards a better, more customer first approach.

    One last thing about Adobe and Omniture, is they hide their contact information very well. If you want to get emails to their board of directors, or even an upper level VP it is impossible to find on the Internet, or via their online chat, or by calling their corporate office (believe me I tried all of them). However, I am not easily deterred, and was able to figure out a pattern to how they format their emails, and was able to send a fair number of the upper level management a copy of the email.

    In order to help others who need to contact Adobe, here is a list of the emails addresses I found to be valid:
    support@adobe.com; info@adobe.com; customerservice@adobe.com; snarayen@adobe.com; mgarrett@adobe.com; kcottle@adobe.com; ngupta@adobe.com; rtarkoff@adobe.com; msaviage@adobe.com; dklyuchn@adobe.com; mboothe@adobe.com; iphone-prerelease@adobe.com; dariana@adobe.com; eric@adobe.com; techsuppt@adobe.com; sales@adobe.com; tquinn@adobe.com

    The last question to answer is did anyone at Adobe respond? They certainly did, here is a copy of the email they sent back. Is this a big enough apology? I suppose it is sufficient given I am not a client of theirs. Of course, they could have prevented me from making this post had I truly felt they were in fact sorry.
    Adobe Email Number 4

    tell me how much you like us…

    Soliciting a testimonial from a client can be kind of awkward. We recently went through the process of updating the case studies in our portfolio on our website. Our case studies are laid out so that we tell the reader the situation, the solution, the products used and the success. The success usually consists of a testimonial from a client telling the world how their new and improved website has made their life easier or better.

    One client that I wanted to profile was Beau Coats, Attorney At Law. I have never actually met Beau before. I have never needed his services (thank goodness) and he came across my name on a chance encounter. Beau called our office and I happened to be the one to answer the phone that day. We had a brief conversation about his current website, what his frustrations were and what his goals were for a website. I turned out a proposal that same day and a week later Beau had sent me a check to start the project. It took a little less than a month to get the site up and running and now Beau is pretty much on auto-pilot with his site. He makes the updates on it when necessary and tries to attend our webinars when he can. So I was pretty sure that if I asked Beau for a testimonial he would have nice things to say about us. I never dreamed he have wonderful things to say about us. Below is Beau’s testimonial for Net Solutions:

    Patrice Valentine is an absolute jewel. Why she accepted me as a client I will never know – but I am forever grateful. When I first contacted Patrice I had just fired my fancy (and expensive) New York City web designer. After nearly two years of development my website was still in the “planning stage.” I was frustrated and skeptical, yet desperate for a web site.

    Patrice was very patient and thorough as she walked me through the NSNA process. As the site developed she was bombarded with questions, most of which reflected my complete ignorance. Nonetheless she was always prompt with an answer, crystal-clear in her explanation, and ever diplomatic in her rendering.

    When the website was launched I was pleasantly surprised. The site is sophisticated yet easily used. I am delighted at the ease with which I can change the look and content of the site. The entire experience with Patrice and NSNA has been a pleasure. How rare that a company delivers more than it promises. But that is exactly what NSNA did.

    Had I never reached out to Beau to see what he thought of us, I would have missed out on this great testimonial which we will be able to use in our marketing efforts.

    Obviously this could have been a learning experience in the opposite direction as well. Had I reached out to Beau and found out that he wasn’t so thrilled with us, it would have given me the opportunity to make things right with him. Either way, the learning experience would have been beneficial. Giving your clients the opportunity to tell you about their experience is an invaluable follow up tool. It allows you to reach out to them once again and it opens a dialog that may not have happened had you not reached out.

    Lesson learned for me? I’ll be reaching out to more clients to see what they thought of their experience with us. Bad or good, I will have learned something to make myself and my company better in the future.

    Find the Perfect Domain Name for Search Engine Optimization

    How to find the perfect domain name for SEO

    Selecting a domain name is one of the most important pieces of building a website, yet most people skip right over it selecting their business name, or the first domain that comes along. While that method can be successful, taking a few minutes to do some research can go a long way towards finding the perfect domain name for your website. By following the steps below, you will find a great domain name, but also a domain name that can actually generate results in the search engines.

    Follow the steps below to get the ideal domain name for your business and for search engine optimization.

    1. Consider someone who is searching for your business or service via a search engine. What words are they most likely to use to find you? For the sake of this exercise, assume they do not know your business name.
    2. Take that keyword/phrase and type it into Google’s Free Keyword tool, and allow synonyms which are a checkbox below where you type in your keyword. Now click the “Get keyword ideas” button.
    3. Once the results are generated, scroll down and use the download all keywords via CSV (for excel) option.
    4. Open the results, and sort by “Global Monthly Search Volume” to get the keywords with the largest search results at the top.
    5. Once this is sorted, copy all the values in the keywords column that have at least 200 global searches.
    6. Paste the results into Notepad, and do a find/replace for spaces. Remove all the spaces in between the keywords. For example, if you had the keyword “big blue widgets” once the space removal is done it would look like “bigbluewidgets”
    7. Now go to Go Daddy’s Bulk Registration Tool, and enter the phrases you have remaining.
    8. I would recommend you select only .com domains as options. However, .net would also be an acceptable option. Now click the search button.
    9. Go Daddy will produce a bunch of errors at the top for any domain that is already taken. If you scroll down, what will be left in the input box are the remaining domains that are available.
    10. I copy and paste this list into excel or notepad for easy comparison. If you find a domain name that works for you then go ahead and purchase it. If you find more than one option that works for your business, go back to the list Google generated and select the one that has the highest global search volume.
    11. Happy hunting! We look forward to seeing your business at the top of the search engine rankings.